caged bird drawing

clipping digital
coupons
entertaining children
with my drawing
skills
(at least someone
appreciates
them)
baking bread
washing dishes
cooking meals
wiping butts
dreaming
of
being
fabulous
while living life
in the body
of a low income
middle aged
single
mother
of four
i took the bait
without seeing the
trap
i made my nest
without seeing the
cage
now i sing my
song
but
nobody
hears
me.

more moping.
you would think, after thirteen years, i would have a hang of this motherhood thing.
but no.
i still look & wonder & cry that i am alone at it.
alone & broken.
maybe in a parallel universe i have a supportive husband who did not make my life hell for shits & giggles.
maybe in the parallel universe, being a mom does not feel like a trap & a cage.

white picket fences

do oddballs
get happily ever
afters
hallmark family photos
where
the dad
is smiling
being a dad
do weirdos
get second
chances
after they choose the wrong
guy
hallmark family photos
where the stepdad
is smiling
loving the kids
as if they were
his own
do freaks
get white picket fences
&
sunday dinners
&
a shoulder to cry on
instead
of one
that
turns
away?

feeling a bit like the orphan looking through the window of a happy family.
i know there is no such thing as normal & hallmark moments…or is that just something we misfits tell ourselves to make it through the night?
i know social media is designed to make everyone & every life look perfect & enviable…
but i still sometimes cry, knowing that there really is–on that profile page–a man who knows how to be there for his wife & kids, and that there is oh so definitely not a man like that in my life.
never has been
in my life
not my dad
not either of my husbands
not one of the dozens of men i’ve dated….

and i cannot bring myself to believe that the odds are that tilted against me. then i know it must be me. then i feel stupid, awkward, ugly, & unwanted. not even an orphan…i am a stray dog with three legs and matted fur bound to be euthanized when no one adopts me.

crap.

i would apologize for the melodramatic pity party…but i feel too sad & gross.

just for the record– i am almost never naked in real life (and my wings are not so visible)…the nudity is symbolic of my bearing myself via my art journal self-portrait series. also, it is an effort to normalize natural bodies. or that’s what i tell myself. maybe i just don’t want to bother drawing clothes….

crying over who?

i don’t even know
who i miss anymore
someone i’ve never met
or someone
i lost a long time
ago
i don’t even know
why i cry anymore
is it for something
i lost
or something
i fear
i will never find?

same old song

yesterday i started crying
not because my four year old
was screaming at me
the entire drive home
to unbuckle his seat belt
so he could get out
not because of that
but because I had no one
no one
to tell it to
no one
to commiserate with
to vent to
to laugh about it with
this morning
i started crying
because the only one to fix me coffee
in the morning
is me.

the person i am in love with
does not love me back
& the father of my children
i cannot trust enough
to even have a conversation
& that leaves me
raising four kids
alone
desperately
devastatingly
alone.

i don’t think i can pretend anymore that there is a snowball’s chance in hell that seymour feels the same way about me that i do about him.
and then i wonder, if he did magically write me back or call me or show up on my doorstep, would that change the hole in me?
i am asking seriously.
i mean–i know that only i can fix me. i know that. and i have spent like forty years working on that and am optimistic that i might have made some real headway. i estimate that there is only about forty more years of work left to do.
but
my question is
will another person…a person i love truly and who truly loves me back
should that person happen into my life
would that fix my lonely?
the lonely that seems to spin in my chest
a black hole
of longing?
if the answer is no.
if that is the world we live in…
i’m not sure i want to live in that world. that “we are born alone; we die alone” world. that cynical and rational-minded world.

it doesn’t seem like the right world for me.

in my dreams

you were in my dreams last night
all of them
sweet dreams where i laid my head
on your chest
& hoped
that i would always feel that way
as i stared
into your warm brown eyes
hoping that you would always
love me.
how am i supposed to live like this
without you?
how am i supposed to embrace
the loneliness
of a life
without
you?
you are the ghost that haunts me
the haunting that leaves me
repenting my sins
you filled my dreams
last night
& now
i just want
to go back to sleep.

truly madly deeply

i will gladly
spend my days
chaste as a monk
letting my passion
spill
onto a page
if it means
you will come to me
at night
if you will fill my dreams
every
night.

remember that movie? truly madly deeply…with alan rickman? if you haven’t seen it, do. it’s a totally amazing, funny & sweet movie.
that’s me. living my love affair with a ghost and avoiding real life.
except my ghost isn’t dead…he lives in philadelphia and resists all my efforts to woo the fuck right out of him.
between him…i am going to go ahead & call him “seymour” because that is his name in my confusion perfume comic…go ahead & go read that if you haven’t already…between seymour & dusty…i feel like i am ruined for relationships. seymour because no one can live up to what he is to me, & dusty because i am afraid everyone will live up to what he is to me.
so!
being that i have always been better at fictional relationships anyway (i used to date the young paul newman as well as the living james dean when i was in my twenties,) i am just going to go ahead and have a fictional relationship with the man who left me 22 years ago.

before last weekend & dusty’s visit, i did my tarot cards. my card (the card representing me) was skill & it was crossed with/conflicted by physical pleasure. in short, i need to focus on creative efforts, my art & writings as well as my family & homestead…but i am distracted by my own loneliness.
so i made this deal with my subconscious, if it lets seymour visit me in my dreams at night, i will focus & hone my creativity by day.

so far so good.
i mean, in my dreams, i am trying to absorb every bit of what i feel being with him so i can keep it with me always…& when i wake, the dreams bring a certain amount of comfort…but they also fill me with a sad longing….

but that’s good for art, right?

profundity

no one is as sad
as me
no one is as lonely
as i am
a pain so profound
i feel as if i can pick it up
& hold it in my hand
a disease
so contagious
i feel as if there is no way
i cannot
inflict it upon those
i love
best.

self-portrait with bandaged heart

self-portrait with bandaged ear

it seems i am unable
to not
fuck things up
sabotage
is my secret weapon
against myself
do you laugh
or do you cringe?
silly stupid
crazy hostile
me
do you laugh or do you
cringe?
when you left
you left
a hole in me
for 22 years
i have worked to
deny it
fill it
fix it
mourn it
claim it was never there
& cry my heart out
over it
but i imagine
when you left
all that remained of me
was an
echo
maybe i am cursed
maybe i am
silly stupid
crazy hostile me
if anything
if everything
i am
ridiculous
i am ridiculous
who does this?
who holds on like this?
& why?
what will become of me?
another 22 years
limping along
living despite
this hole
this missing part?
i guess that is it
others have hurt me
but no one else
has left me
feeling
split in two.

if i were a van gogh…or a bronte sister…or adele, maybe this would be more romantic & less disturbed.
am i disturbed? or is it just that my heart knows what it wants
despite my best efforts to make it shut up and grow up and get over it already.

but i carry my cut out heart in a stained handkerchief to hand to the one i love.
figuratively speaking.

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