works in progress

i survived mother’s day…just barely
noticing via instagram posts
that i cringe when husbands praise wives
& when i see daughters & mothers together
but am okay with sons & mothers
…hmmm
you don’t need to look twice
to see where my damage is….
but i survived
and will live to see
another
mother’s day
& maybe not be such a
train wreck
next
time….

here are some commissions i am working on. i realize, the more i ink, what my style is exactly–& i try to stay true to it.
i am excited to see how these will turn out…& hopefully the people who commissioned them will be just as excited.

and for those of you wondering about my patreon page:


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woe is me

living inside
your own head
you forget
about
the world outside
a world that works against
single low-income moms
a world
that won’t take a risk
on you
no matter
how good your heart
might be
a world that is set up
to grandstand your options
telling you to
follow your dreams
but in the end
leaves you
very few choices
the more kids
you have
the fewer
choices
they say it takes a village
they don’t tell you
that the village
will quickly tack up
a “no vacancy” sign
when they see
you
coming.

how’s the house hunt going?
well, pretty fucking hard since i can’t even get out to look for a place…& then when i look at the average application for a rental & they want a job & income & job history…
all i feel is despair.
i have savings. i have enough to pay a year’s rent. i have sparkly clean credit. i have child support payments. i have government aid. i spend less money–with four kids–than the average u.s. citizen without dependents does. i am frugal as fuck. but i have to get face to face with a real person–the right person–to convince them that this is enough…& being seemingly physically trapped here at hotel california…how the fuck do i make that happen?
i was going to try to run out to iowa today to look for rentals & someone to convince that i am a good tenant. the minions come home tomorrow….
despair says, “why even bother?”
but i can’t just run over to iowa with four kids in tow. iggy hates road trips (he got that from his dad–not me,) & i don’t want to budget in a stay at a motel (though they do love motel tv.)
so three weeks until the next time i am able to run to iowa sans minions…meanwhile, the lawn grows free now as the lawn mower died on me. so i should get that fixed. i don’t even know how to go about that. i so so so hate being all alone out here.
yes, i’m a feminist, but fuck me if i want to do everything myself. i want someone here who knows how to do all the stuff i suck at. i want someone in my life who appreciates what i can do & who i worship for their ability to fix a mower…or clean a toilet…or just hold me & tell me it’s all going to work out when it feels like the world is spinning out of control.
sigh.

if you want to contribute to my “income”…. here are sneak peaks of some of the posts you would be able to see as a patron of mine….

the main image is of a character of mine that hopefully will one day have a story….

mother grim

open a beer
or open a vein
whiskey shot to the head
or gunshot
you don’t know
you don’t know me
& how it feels
sometimes
to try
every day
to be a mother
to these ones
every day
every day
every
day
i make this decision
bag of wine
or bag over the head?
relish these years
when they are little
they say
kids grow up so fast
you don’t want to miss it
they say
miss it?
i am deep as fuck in it
living it
despite myself
every day

have you ever heard of “highly spirited children?” yeah. i have four of those.
they are wonderful, beautiful, brilliant, funny, explosive, screamy, dramatic little things. i love them dearly, but sometimes i find my thoughts wandering over to the dark side.
right now they are with their dad–who again–challenged our placement agreement.
whenever he does, i examine my determination to keep being their primary caretaker–to make sure i am not doing it for selfish or controlling reasons.
i discovered that even though i sometimes think i am a crap-ass mom…i completely believe it is best for our children to have me as a primary caretaker. even though i sometimes feel i am going insane with the stress of being a single mom & of raising four strong-willed children, i think i owe them that little bit of stability that being with me gives them.
i have been there for them since day one. i have a commitment to them. so, sure, sometimes i think dark thoughts, but hopefully–expressing those dark thoughts will help me work out those demons so i can be a better mom.
that’s important to me, being a good mom.
not a traditional or conventional mom, but the mom they need me to be. a crazy-ass mom who (most the time) can roll with the punches.

ps. i don’t drink box wine or else i would have known to call it box wine not bag of wine. oh well….

the turkey stands alone

yesterday
all of my livestock went to live
with a very nice red-haired farmer
who knows what the fuck he is doing
& isn’t just winging it
like some kind of off-kilter homesteading maniac…
i think i learned
many many things
from my livestock experiment 
(not to be confused with my motherhood experiment)
although some of what i learned
is very similar to my motherhood
experiment…
yesterday
my yard emptied out
no more ducks…chickens…goats…or sheep
just the turkey stands alone
and i feel 
a lot
sad
but also
a little
relieved.

i’m telling the minions…it’s a new chapter…a new episode of our lives. change is not necessarily a bad thing. change can be good. really really good. 
but it’s still sad.

meanwhile, i have gotten a little done over on my patreon page.

and a birthday card & a patron card

don’t walk away

though i feel comfort
at the thought
of a no-more
a
never-more
i am invested
in this story
& long to know
how it will
unfold
will i laugh?
will i cry?
i will not stop
turning the pages
of my life
even if at times
i feel
like
setting the book
down
& walking
the fuck
away,
i come back
i come back
i pick up
where i left off
my story
this
is not
the end.

originally posted on august 31, 2018

another one towards the one day realization of the invisible exhibitionist.

i tore up so many versions of this. i am still not completely happy with the final…but there is a lot i like about it too.
i am not sure why i went with lewis carroll’s drawing of alice for this one. i do know that i have always loved this illustration. when i re-did it, i worked from my version of the illustration, without looking at his, which is my habit. to work from my own art that i first borrowed from someone else….
if that makes sense.

anyhoo!
i noticed that this as well as my last post are about survival & not doing myself in as the little voices sometimes suggest…so that’s nice.

& for my next trick…

surviving myself
may be
the best trick
i have ever done
now you see me
now
you still
see me
i’m still here
manacles
straight jacket
cement shoes
submerged in a tank full of every tear
i have
ever
cried
&
i climbed back out
i
survived.

pea-ed off

lately
i have been
thinking of life
like
the princess & the pea
no–
the pea
is not
for me
you see
i know i am a princess
a true one
at that
for look how easily
my skin
bruises
not to mention
my heart…
the pea is for
every man
i encounter
i hand him
my pea
to see
who
he
will be
but
so far
i have found more frogs
than
princes.

this one cracks me up. but it’s true. i will think, “hey, he’s kinda cute.” then he will do just one thing wrong, and i will be like, “eww. what did i see in him?”
just little things too.
it might just because i am of a certain age with a certain history of dating any fucking mo who came along.
i think i wrote about this the other day. probably after i had written this page. everyone’s a bit of a disappointment to me right now.
yet still i wait to be crushed by the one who can’t sleep a wink because my pea is too hard. (what??)
speaking of, i am goofing off over on okcupid again.
why?
boredom? desperate but not serious? longing for a deep conversation with a nice pair of eyes?

oh! in other news, do not read rick springfield’s memoir–it’s a real stinker. like i have to tell you that.

my own reflection

alone
who can i blame
but me
alone
my screams
fall on my own
ears
alone
i look at my reflection
really look
this time
not me reflected
in someone else’s
eyes
but
me
standing before
myself
will i hold
myself
up
or push me
down?

i’m thinking of changing my look. i think i could pull off some faux fur. and maybe martinis might be in order.
i have been sober many days now…it is not pretty.

i am going through some stuff.
what? no? not you!
yes, but different stuff. like my usual stuff is sorted & put away, and now i am on to new stuff.
i feel like i am trying to wriggle out of an old skin…but i am struggling to get that fucker off my back.
lots of anger & snarky behavior…which then causes a spiral of guilt & oh-my-god-i-suckness.
fun fun fun.

i wish i knew how many layers this onion has…how many more levels i have to do before i win.

this is a card i’m sending to my sister for her birthday (shhh)

cable-knit sweater

i pull on my depression
like an off-white
cable-knit
sweater
thick & heavy
like an irish fisherman
would wear
& i pretend
it looks good on me
it’s comfortable
at least
my depression
well-worn
though it is getting
a bit ripe
from being worn
so long
i snuggle deep
into my depression
fantasizing
i can stay there
deeply mired
&
barely aware
of the daily
struggles
that
knit
me such a
snug
sadness.

originally posted on august 29, 2018…i really liked this one & thought it might look good with bamboo pen for the invisible exhibitionist…& i do like the way it looks, but i imagined doing it with a small head being enveloped by the sweater…. however, as usual, my head got away from me.
i might try doing another version–as i love this image & verse so much–but i did like this version enough to post it here.

my mood lately, i wish for that sweater…it’s more like uncomfortable underwear mood right now. something isn’t fitting right, but it’s too much trouble to change my clothes…that’s my mood.
maybe i’ll do a page on that.

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