at least angst is an effective muse

he is the drink
that i shouldn’t take
the fall from grace
the downward spiral
to hopelessness
& a crippling
lack of faith
he is the drink
i shouldn’t take
the step towards
no control
my soul crumpled
on the floor
forgotten panties
stained & unwanted
he is the drink that i should say
no!
to.  the drink i should
feel strong enough to
avoid.

…why am i not strong enough?

i say, “i feel this way.” next time we fight he mirrors my words back to me. some fucked up mind game. some
fucked up
mind
game.
does he even know he is playing?
i wonder.
is it a reflex? a survival technique? does he want to hurt me?

or is he just protecting himself?

journal

you’re overthinking it, em. i tell myself. what do you want?
what do you feel?

journal2

i don’t want to share my life with him.
he is a big parasitical turd.
i don’t want to share my life with him.
we go for a walk in the woods where i grew up.
where i wandered & where i found myself
the first time i was lost.
my church.
i go into these woods with him, and i feel like it is sacrilege.
he shouldn’t be in my church.
i shouldn’t let him near my soul.
my being.
it isn’t safe.
i don’t want to share my life with him.
is this a want? or a warning? an instinct?

journal3

maybe he’s right
maybe he isn’t the problem
maybe i am the problem
but that does not change the fact that i do not want to share my life with him.

 

wild things

the wild and the tame
inside me
always fight for a balance
my anger and my calm
inside me
always seem at odds
the crazy and the sane
in my life
are a constant confusion
which do i embrace?
which do i change?
who am i today?

wildthings2

ack.

i don’t feel like talking about anything in therapy today, y’all. so i’m just going to post my picture.

wildthings1

story time

except i’m not going to tell a story
not this time
things in my life
too weird
to be
stories
stranger than fiction
as they say
and i try to find the corner pieces
so i can put this puzzle together…
or should i just drop it on the floor?
say, “fuck it”
and walk away?story time2

i can tell you this: i love doing my art. i love it. it is the best part of me sometimes. i love looking and finding and drawing out the image that may or may not be just in my head. if nothing else in my life makes sense…my weird-ass whimsical inkings do.

so that should tell you something.

i think i am going to put a few of them on mat board and try to have a show.
i think i am going to send a few of them off to publications and see if anyone bites.
i think i am going to rely on my art to give my life some sort of meaning when every other avenue is confused.

story time1

garden city

i never wanted to do this
alone
but i am
alone
profoundly everlastingly
alone
there is no end in sight
i try to ask for help
no one listens
& i remain
alone
always
alone.

i never planned to have four kids by myself out in the country. i crave community & i crave contact. i crave a connection.
i am an introvert, and i enjoy my alone time. but this is different. this is ridiculous.
i am alone with four children.
and i’m not sure i should be a mom.
i’m so tired of being screamed at.
i’m so tired of being peed on.
i’m so tired of losing my mind.
who am i?
am i a monster?
why can’t i do this?

gardencity2

no one should be expected to do this. be alone. alone with children.
no one should be expected to do this.
but even when i lived in a housing co-op, with 30 other adults…i was alone. i would be struggling, right in front of them, my audience. i would be struggling–& they would turn away. often literally.

it’s not just me is it?
it’s us. as a culture. so cut off from one another.
i thought it was just because i never ask for help,
but they turn away even if i do.
and leave me.
alone.

gardencity1

don’t look at my little heart

you haunt me.
21 years after i lost you
you still haunt me.
am i ridiculous?
why can’t i let go?
you did.
you left me.
even though i was the one
who got on the greyhound bus.
…every time i left you
i left you for someone
who wasn’t even half of who you are.
that should have said something
about how fucked up
i was.
and how much i wanted to destroy
myself.
when you left me
it was for a wife,
and some would say
you gave me too many chances
before leaving.
but in the end,
you did leave
and leave me
haunted.
if i ever had a heart
i lost it
when i lost you.
if i ever was
able to love,
it was only to fail
at loving you.
the universe’s way of kicking me down
when i boasted
that i didn’t believe in regrets
living my life without regrets
until i realized that my life is one big
regret.
regret…
i burned every picture
i ever had of you.
every
single
one.
cutting you out
and leaving myself alone
in an attempt
to get over you
but only making my regret
that much bigger
and myself
that much more alone.
haunted.

my dead brother

having someone in your life die changes you as much as, say, having a baby.
i would not be the artist i am today if i had not become a mother. i would be a different artist.
and i would not be the person i am today if my brother had not been killed eight years ago today. i would be a different person.

my big brother…sigh.
he introduced me to movies. that is one way i remember him. he took me to see raiders of the lost ark when it was in the theaters and i was all like, “this movie sounds stupid.”
and then i was all like, “that was the best movie ever!”
he took me to see the empire strikes back when it came out
and i remember as we walked back to the car after the movie, he said, “it’s leia. they are talking about leia.”
and i had no idea what he was talking about until return of the jedi.
he brought a copy of terminator home from college and as i watched it, he would say, “surely he’s dead now” every time they thought they had destroyed arnold schwarzenegger.
he introduced me to one of my most favorite movies ever blade runner.
and to another dytopian influence a boy and his dog.

self2

these two pictures were done for a drawing class where i was supposed to do two self-portraits that were meant to be hung together. the top one is from a photo of me as a baby with my brother mike.
the second one is a self-portrait of me in tribute to the polaroid taken of sarah connor  at the end of terminator.

his life and his death are both heavy influences in who i am today.
sometimes i don’t know how to feel about that.

here is a poem i wrote in a writer’s workshop about it:

heavy

when someone close to you
dies
it becomes part of your description
she has brown hair
a nice smile
and her brother is dead

birthdays are the hardest
his last one
i didn’t know
it was the last
his voice sad on the telephone
my pledge to keep in touch
this time

we live in a world
where I can obsessively search for
intimate details of his death
available in short video
burning plane
gray matter splattered on a playground
his last words, “oh, fuck.”

notorious IT guy for the other side
the forrest gump of stolen elections
everything reminds me
of him
the sound of a single engine  plane
sad songs on the radio
politics, christmastime, and charismatic men

i drink irish whiskey this time of year
but it was scotch at his wake
four years now
four years since the last election
four years since the plane crash
a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream
murder republican style

when someone close to you
dies
do you let it redefine you?
hello, I’m connell
a mama, a student, an artist
let me tell you
about my dead brother

so much anger in this one

if i were a dude
the brontes would write a book about me
but i’m a chick…so i just get ostracized
for my anger.
smile, it’s not so bad.
smile, you’re beautiful when you smile.
smile, don’t you know anger is pointless?

you mean, anger is not” feminine”
not “attractive.”
if i were a dude,
i could start a war with all this anger in me
and i would be lauded for my bravery &
my masculinity.

but i’m a chick.
an angry chick.
and that is only cute for a minute or two
depending on how cute i am.
then it becomes something
you walk away from.
everyone walks away
from me.

is that why i am so pissed off?
except,
they say i “drove them away.”
they say i “put up walls.”
but what if i was pushing
so that you would pull me closer?
what if i put up walls
so you would knock them down?

then i would know
you really loved me.
i don’t believe anyone has ever loved me.
i really don’t.
i don’t believe my parents loved me.
the hordes of boyfriends…yes, hordes,
because when you’re looking for someone
to love you
you look everywhere
but non of them loved me
not really.
my dogs don’t even love me.
and if they tried,
i gave them reason not to love me.
i joked that i had kids
so that someone would love me best.
now i wait for the day
they realize what an asshole i am
and stop loving me.

i’m a fucked up mess. i read about empaths being “light bringers” but all i feel inside of me is darkness. deep & black & oozing. darkness. i want to forsake everything and embrace the darkness inside of me. i don’t know why i feel this way. maybe the older i get the crazier i get. i never felt this deep & dark before dusty got a hold of me. i had my anger. i had my feelings of being lost & unlovable, but i never had this darkness in me until he showed me exactly how little i meant to him…. and now i struggle to get him out of my life–out of my house, and i feel like i have no control of the situation. for a person like me, a lack of control is like being buried alive.

so maybe the anger is the only thing i have right now.

(this drawing is a watercolor i did for a class when i was journaling about the topic of my choice. i chose to journal about me as a mother.)