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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never fall again

never fall again

the last time we had sex
i could feel how much
you hated me
it oozed out of you
spat out of you
& froze my skin
burning me
the last time we had sex
i knew that you couldn’t
stop wanting me
but that you had forced yourself
to stop loving me
…needing me
the last time we had sex
you couldn’t get away
from me
fast enough
your touch was hostile
your eyes
empty.

never fall again. never feel that pain. that’s where my thoughts are these days. does he even remember me every valentine’s day? probably the fuck not. but here i am. broken-hearted.
always
broken-hearted.

maybe when i’m dead i will stop obsessing over him. or i will just go looking for him in my next life.

ack!
that’s one tattoo i leave out of every self-portrait. the tattoo i got for him…with him. the tattoo that hurt the most. and still hurts.
i think about getting it covered up…turned into something else.
maybe i would if i had some money.
so y’all should buy the book i illustrated so i have money to cover-up a tattoo that won’t let me forget where i left my heart.

fuck me.
we all know i’m never getting rid of this tattoo.

shooting star

i am not
“down to earth”
i am not
“drama free”
i am human
i am messy
i am a comet
sparks
shoot out of my butt
as i rocket
through the stars….

yes. inspired by online dating & actually part of my profile before i shut that motherfucker down.

i am still off-kilter. drawing this was much more difficult than it should have been. my hands would not cooperate with my head. i can’t say what’s wrong with me right now…other than that i need to put it right.
i need to put me right.

but how to do that?
right?
how do you fix it when you don’t know for sure what is broken? or which part of the massive mess that is you needs some immediate & intensive care?

i listen to music. i stare out the window. i watch the snow fall. i keep the livestock’s water from freezing. i drink whiskey and wait for nightfall.
there it is…some of it anyway. i don’t seem to know what to do with myself when i am not playing the part of “mom.” though i battle with that role in my life…it is somewhat necessary for me to function. if i don’t have four squabbling minions to maneuver around, i don’t know how to collect my thoughts. i don’t know how to do art. i spend my days thinking they are preventing my life…when in fact they are shaping & enhancing my life. they are creating who i am.

if i ever do find that person who is missing from my life. that other part of me. if i ever find him (i think it must be a him,) he will have to be someone who eagerly craves the chaos that is my life.
another shooting star…or someone who has wished on one.

devoured

twice
in my life
i’ve thought i found
“the one”
& both
were amazing
before everything turned
awful
twice
in my life
i’ve thought i found
my lost part
my split apart
only to want to
lose it
again
i guess i am luckier
than some
not so lucky
as others
twice
in my life
i’ve thought i found
true love…
will the third time
be the charm?

dreams of dusty and yawning loneliness leave me feeling empty & sad.
i wandered over to “okcupid” as i think i am no longer allowed on “plenty of fish”…and i am not willing to pay to look at pages & pages of men who i am not at all attracted to.

sigh.

there are all these guys who insist they want a different kind of woman. they are all liars. also, there are tons of guys who just want to bitch about how every woman is either a “crack whore” or “playing games.” what the what?

anyhoo.

so i will report back. of course i feel optimistic. until i don’t anymore.

misha wants to know why i am a bunny.
misha wants to know why i am brown.
misha wants to know why a snake is on my feet.

oh if only i knew.

ps. one of my older lambs got tangled in the new fencing i put up. she almost strangled herself, but i did get her untangled.
i guess that would solve my problem of butchering (i am hesitant to butcher) if my lambs just kill themselves….
now i have to watch & see if it was a fluke or if there will be more entanglements.
i don’t know if it would have been better or worse if i was actually electrifying the fence.

split-apart

it was new year’s eve 1992. i was 22 and running away from my life, en route to washington dc from iowa city, ia. i went to my parent’s house in illinois for christmas. my younger–very straight & conservative–sister suggested we go out to a bar in the nearby college town of normal. i think she was trying to impress us that she could be cool. it was a grunge bar (before grunge was really even a thing) with a purple mohawked & tattooed bartender and all the hip college kids as clientele.

i woke up the morning before we went there with one thought in my head, “today you are going to meet the man you are going to marry.”

it was a strong thought. this had happened to me before–and come true. the strong waking premonition. so i did not doubt it.

at the bar, the gallery, i was amazed at the number of hot guys. i had bad luck dating in iowa city, everyone thought i was a lesbian–and i had plenty of those opportunities…but very few straight ones. and all terrible in their own ways. so i felt i had stumbled upon an oasis in my romantic desert.

of the sea of hot guys, i was informed by one of the bartenders that her good friend thought i was cute. he was–sadly–the least attractive of the boys there…not at all my type. large & hairy. but due to my premonition, i thought, what the hell. let’s see what happens. so i started dating him. started having feelings for him. scrapped my plans to move to dc & (with the help of the tattooed bartender) found a job & a place to live in normal.

then the mountain man dumped me.

in retrospect, i think i was just the person he needed to feel confident enough to go after the woman he really wanted to be with. and, his having me doting on him, gave him that attractiveness credit with the would-be girlfriend. all of a sudden, because he was my boyfriend, he was a guy worth looking twice at.  i was a tool. they are happily married now. i never got a thank you card for that…oh well.

i spiraled as someone with low self-esteem is bound to do once rejected. i dated & flirted & messed around…a lot. seriously, so many cute guys! there were parties where all these hot people would sit around & play “spin the bottle.” i had so much fun that i can never tell my kids about.

anyhoo!

there was this one bouncer at the gallery. okay. stop. erase your mental image of “bouncer.” at this bar, the biggest & most threatening bouncer employed there was a woman. none of the bouncers could have probably bounced. mostly they just checked id. and in the case of the 6 foot woman bouncer–deep throat kissed everyone who came through the door. ah…the early nineties….

so there was a bouncer who when i first saw him he was cleaning his brand new belly button piercing behind the bar. (it later got infected and was impressively pus-filled enough that the piecing was abandoned.) i had also just gotten my belly button pierced–so i was like, “hey, me too.”

here’s the thing though. this boy was so incredibly good-looking that my mind literally did not entertain thoughts of him for even a second. he was quickly filed in the “out of my league” category. also. he was in one of those epic romances that everyone references when they are talking about perfect couples. it was always him “&amy.” they were a fixed point in time.

and i was a paradox.

but we became fast friends. fun friends. he was great to goof off with. funny. so funny. i can remember my face hurting from laughing when i was with him. and so laid back. i would find him at parties (there was always a party. seriously. weekend parties. after-hour parties. so many parties!) and we would have long conversations about everything & nothing.

then one day i was at his going away party. he was moving to montana. and he was gone. my life went on. i continued living a strange life full of drama & dating.

then one day he was back.

i was walking down the street, and there he was. he told me that he just got back into town, and from that point we were inseparable.
he later told me that he moved to montana to get away from his girlfriend–it didn’t work.
he also told me
that he came back
because he had a dream about me.
i continued to resist it as a romance…especially since he seemed unable to break up with his girlfriend. but we were the best of friends. we plotted ways to make money. we went on crazy road trips. we even became roommates.

i would lay in his arms every night…you know, as his roommate, and feel like i was home. he made everything okay.

we eventually did date.
and break up.
and get back together.
and get engaged (with tattoos!)
and move to an all girl college together.
and move to austin, texas together.

and…

i fucked it up. as hard and terribly as i could. i mean, it’s like i put effort  into fucking it up. i destroyed our relationship. i destroyed everything.

and i have spent the past 20 years trying to forget him and get past him (when i’m not missing him & imagining what would have been).

but i can’t forget him. i remember him better than i remember what i ate yesterday. he is etched in my brain…my heart…scattered across my soul.
i no longer believe i am able to forget him. or that i am meant to forget him.
back then & still today, i believe he is my split-apart.
the other half of me.