Category: Art

Blicks

Every time I walk
into the place I
feel like an extra

fraud. Now that
I have bangs and
my hair looks like

a wig a bank robber
would wear I take
note of my

reflection, and how
suspicious I
look in giant

dark sunglasses.

Just
walking through
the doors brings up

feelings of dropping
a lunch tray in Jr.
High. I want to

hide. My head
tells me I’m
supposed to know

what all of this
shit is and how to
use it. I try to walk

confidently to the
canvas stretchers – my

area of focus. The
thousands of black
and white tubes of
paint in all sizes

makes me dizzy. I
can’t even bare to
pick up the canvas

stretchers. I feel like
I’ll make a noise and
everybody will know

that I have no
idea
what the fuck

I’m doing. Or worse,
they’ll ask and I’ll
have to tell them, but

I won’t say that, I’ll
start talking like I
had to talk for

10 years of working
in hospitality. Polite,
nice, invisible.

I couldn’t stop
for too long to
look at any specific
thing. I felt like

a shop lifter – just
so horridly out of
place.

I gravitated towards
the kids craft section.

I felt ok there, but
that was it. Debated

buying rainbow shaped
post- it notes, took
note of a gallon bottle
of silver glitter on

clearance for $4.74.

I walked out
of the store with
nothing. When I

came home I told
my husband about it.

He said “You are not
and never will be
polished, organized

materials. Do you
make your art for
the art world or

do you make your art
for the real world?”

“It all only comes
from the places I
come from.”

He hugs me in the
dim yellow glow
of the kitchen.

“Someday maybe I’ll
get to go in there
and not even feel like

I don’t belong. In the
meantime I’ll goddamn

youtube whatever I
need to know.”

I constantly feel
inadequate. Like I’m
supposed to be taking

your breakfast order
in order to be doing
life right.

Going into that
fancy art store the
lonely kid comes

out, the dumb kid,
the scared kid. I

hope someday that
changes but it
wasn’t

today. In the
meantime my

business cards
came in the mail
and I edited 39

images of my
paintings for my
new website.

One foot in front
of the other

regardless,
as
always.

Crystal Castles

I keep
waking up
at 3 A.M.

Since today
is Saturday

I’ve sat
to meditate,
cleaned
the kitchen,

folded the
laundry, read

all of the
celebrity
news. Made

fresh coffee,
addressed
a letter and

photos to
my Grandmother.

I’ve cuddled
my
dog Harleaux.

Started the
dishwasher.

Stared at my
1099 forms.
Still makes

little sense.

It is 5:12 A.M.

The unfinished
novel and

half started
canvas are

screaming.

I sip my
coffee.

A

silent
storm.

Spell Cast

It was frigid in Chicago. I hugged my father goodbye and left for work. Sun. Snow. Traffic. Chapped lips. Waitress shift. Worn out shoes for crews, black polyester pants frayed on the bottom. False smile. Wine key. Stress for nothing that was all over something at the time. I knew them a lifetime ago. “What is your life up to?”

Sidework and plans for the night. Same shit every night with a different name. Staring out the fogged window in a packed brick dive bar. Smashed in the clothes I worked in all day, that I’ll sleep in, that I’ll go back to work in tomorrow wondering

Why do I feel so stuck?

Life as a server in a suburban chain restaurant. I know about break ups, pain and the drink specials at very bar for every night of the week.

I hugged my father goodbye.

Trucker glasses low down baseball cap. The Killers “Smile like you mean it.” Cross country drive. No idea why. Vague idea to do yoga and not be a waitress. Palm trees and pools. I bought a sequined bikini because I thought it would make me feel like a person that wasn’t scared.

I wanted to be free. I got to Las Vegas. Alone in the valley. Rice and avocado only for three months I was so broke. I was in a house with no power.  The degradation of society is unapologetic and clear here in the summer heat. Its all I see. Homelessness skin sheen – too tan leathery faces.

I’m not scared and I’m still dumb enough not to know that I

should be.

“Going for dinner” was a milkshake and a carton of Marlboro Lights.  I almost relapsed on 9/11. I just wanted to not feel but instead I went to a meeting. It was in a kids classroom.

NA was a cult to me and everybody was crazy, but not my kind of crazy. In that room that day it didn’t feel that way. I stayed.

She invited me to her house because I  freaked and told her I had no food. We cooked spaghetti. There were pictures on the walls and she had a lot of kitchen stuff. I liked all of the wooden spoons. Her house felt like a home where I felt welcome.

105 heat 40% humidity. I die on the floor. I’m the victim take care of me – listen to me forever but don’t touch me. I don’t know how or why.

Talk too much don’t feel enough. Anxiety and high priced dinners to serve. Telling thousands of people about vegetables a week can be your fate if you’re strong enough to suffer.

A phone call at 3 am on a Tuesday. My mother. She found my Dad. She said he passed away. Shes whimpering. What I’m hearing can’t be. I pace around the one bedroom apartment until 6 a.m. Spend the rest of the day trying to figure out what it means to buy dog food so I can fly to Chicago. Bif picks me up in the mini coop wordlessly. Takes the dogs and drops me at the airport.

A sea of planning and sobbing ensues. My daughter walking up to the viewing in a puffy black ball gown with her parents, as my family standing behind me that never met her looks on. My fathers body to the left. I lived that moment I can live em all. Slow motion absolute.

I hugged my father goodbye. Kissed him on the lips.

He couldn’t hug me back but I felt him there, telling me to just keep going.

Thailand. Mui Tai rings and motor boats. Food not in wrappers. Choppy water – wild puppies on an abandoned beach. Meeting the whole world in paradise and yoga like I had never felt it before. The jungle. Sea lice. I need to sit on facebook and eat M&Ms to feel ok.

Certified yoga teacher – not doing shit with that because it is terrifying. But, a job. In a rehab. First day. Terrified. Three years later I teach five a week. I teach art. I’m not a

waitress and I never was. The art is bigger. More dynamic. It isn’t about what it turns into it is within who I get to be in the midst of getting it out of me. All of the birth I will never feel.

A hike to Red Rock with a friend and a stranger. Mismatched neon socks and mustard yellow adidas. Beautiful face, gorgeous accent, brilliant, reads everything and is traveling the world. Last day in the states see you in another life. I watched the air traffic a lot the next afternoon.

Terrified of him, of sounding dumb, of not being enough. Later he says I was cool like Ali Sheedy, and probably had a French boyfriend. We talk every once and a while on whatsapp until one day

“If you were here, I would keep you up all night, telling you how much I missed you.”

Six months later I’m standing in an airport, waiting for a flight form Perth. Him on an escalator, in blue fishing linen pants and a black t shirt.

None of the past matters.

Still with the yoga classes. Inconsistent but going.

Vipassana. Ten days of silence in Joshua Tree. Lifes largest metamorphosis so far. Sobbing into the phone when he answers. All he says is “I know.”

Lose the job. Get another one. I have an office and an 8-4 schedule. My Dads photo on my desk. The job folds.

I paint. I start a private practice. I start to propose my art to be purchased nationally by hospitals.

I go to her house for spaghetti. It is six years later. I know where everything in the kitchen is and make it myself. We watch family fued together and yell at the screen. Everything changes but this hasn’t.

I still write.
I still miss my Dad.
I still work a program.
I meditate.
I do yoga.

and in tiny little pockets of recognized moments, sometimes

I’m as free as I always

imagined.

 

 

 

Fried on Thursday.

The reality of
our collective
days today has

me going to
Coffee Bean at
7PM with the dogs

and singing
Belinda Carlisle
at the top of
my lungs

and you are putting
cheddar jalapeno
cream cheese

on top of a
five day old
microwaved

piece of
Papa Johns
anchovi pizza.

We’ve had
far worse
days, we’ll

have better
ones and much

different ones
too. When you’re
done with that

pizza come help me
blow torch
this resin.

I always love the
sound of your voice
reading me the

directions
as I do whatever

I want
instead.