best & worst

1995
lexington kentucky
flying balsa wood planes
in the park
with the man
i was engaged to
the man
i was going to spend the rest of my life
with
1996
austin texas
getting an expensive long-coveted gift
of white wing tip doc martins
from the man
who was about to leave me
as i had left him
already
for someone else
…funny thing
that is the last valentine’s day
i can remember
i remember the best
& i remember the worst that followed it
…nothing
more.

guess what i was doing for valentines? i wasn’t crying all day, i promise. i did try & try to remember any other valentine’s day. i dated someone for two years after this relationship mentioned here. then i married someone & spent several valentine’s days with him. then i married someone else & spent more than a decade of valentine’s days with him.
jesus.
in my defense, none of the guys who followed the best & the worst valentine of mine, none of those guys were very good at being sweet to me.
the last guy to be sweet to me gave me a pair of white doc martin wing tips & then broke my heart.
no matter how many valentines i make & give to people, i cannot quite heal that wound.

happy valentine’s day from an ice monkey

confusion is nothing new

teeth & gums & nakedness
nothing new
a series of dreams
that never come true
but can i really say
i never get what
i want
when wants change
& needs are undecipherable?
needs
i would like to get
what i need
teeth & gums & nakedness
men following men
through my room
moonlight
sunlight
lamplight
condom wrappers
& nothing fulfilled
but i got
what i wanted
for 30 seconds
teeth & gums & nakedness

yes. my name is “mary jo” & yes. i was a pretty promiscuous 24 year old once.
this is my favorite poem that i have ever written.
it was written after a busy summer in ’94 that began with my breaking up with the love of my life and ended with my reuniting with the love of my life after a bunch of indiscretions.
then i went away (with him) to an all girl school in roanoke, va (hollins university) where i workshopped my poem as well as classics such as “bukowski’s undertow” & “tiny tortures in this hyperactive ghost town” which can be seen in comic form in my newly published book confusion perfume & other neurotic comics.

in other news–i made so many valentine’s this year, y’all! i like to reclaim valentine’s day as a day of love & not necessarily romance. and i am so full of love. ink covered love.

ps. happy year of the (big blue) ox!

pps. my scanner finally gave up it’s ghost, hence the buttload of blurry photos. i did invest in a new scanner that should be here soon. buy a copy of my book to help me pay for that!!

saint valentine’s day massacre

i am a mess.
i can’t seem to create.
i am all grumpy & screamy & desperate for space from children…& closeness with a grown up.

i tried to do an inking yesterday. it sucked ass. and then a minion got something on it. so i burned it in the fireplace.
it was called “unraveled”

yesterday i also got the bright idea to make valentines.
so i spilled red ink all over the place.
now i actually have to find the focus to make them.
when all i feel like doing is hiding in the closet with a bottle of whiskey.

i used to love valentine’s day.
you know, when i was stupid & optimistic
(i still am…now i call it “quixotic”)
i have no good experiences on which to base my love of valentine’s day.
just that annoyingly optimistic willingness to be loved.
i want(ed) so badly to be loved…that i was willing to enter hopefully into every valentine’s day.
i have never been the type of girl to get flowers from boys. no matter how much i wished it.
i’m just not that girl. i don’t know why. and sometimes i let it break my heart.
usually after i have a charlie brown valentine’s day.

i have written about my lost love of my life.
the one i have finally accepted that i will never get over (which really doesn’t make it that much easier to live with–my acceptance of my infliction, that is)
when our relationship came to it’s terrible conclusion, it was valentine’s day. he was in love with someone else, so he got me something i really wanted for valentine’s day.
a pair of white wingtip doc martins.
and i knew i had lost him.
guys only get me good stuff when they feel guilty about something.
that’s what i have learned over the years.
i get guilt presents.
not love presents.

i’m not a materialistic person. but i do like getting presents. i like flowers. i like feeling special. i like feeling like someone loves me.

i’m struggling with this so much right now. this crappy loneliness and heartbroken bullshit. i’ve had two lonely marriages. i have two ex-husbands actively regretting that they treated me so callously. do either of them get me flowers or a bottle of whiskey?

no.

they just lament treating me like crap.
loudly.
as if that helps.
it doesn’t.
because then all i wonder is where this devotion was when i was in love with them?
i’m not anymore.
i’m not in love with them.
but they behave as if i should welcome their renewed love
with open arms.

but, still, no flowers
no chocolates
no whiskey

and the one man who i want to hear renewed devotion from
remains quiet
except for the occasional flirty text:

what’s better than roses on your piano?

tulips on your organ.

and that’s the closest i get to a man giving me flowers.
and the closest i get to having a sex life.
sigh.

well, to make myself even more miserable
i put a price tag on my art.
to make myself feel even more rejected
i am putting my art out there…ish.

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