writing prompts: from moon to moon

Spring 2022

documenting the moon has not worked

sight scythe sigh,
the cut reframed,
explained to a t.
a lee from your name
filling my skin.
an exoskeleton
dance of #sign
ature defeat
bows to the wind,
spins and sheds
its memories

I wrote that the morning of May 16, 2022 on the prompt #sign. Big time gap, right? I’ve done many prompts now. Things have gotten so busy for me that I almost have to choose between prompts and other projects during my morning writing time. And I needed space to know what daily prompt writing is accomplishing. Am I learning enough from presenting to this group in lieu of research? And is my writing style being influenced by an exchange of Likes? Or by the short nature of prompts?

I’m working on some new training in addition to adjusting to new work. Will find a balance and pop back in from time to time. I do love many of the people on there–hearts and souls of poetry. I am around many “brand” writers and often wonder what kind of spell people are under that the realm of poetry too has to be reduced to slogans. I like checking back in on Twitter and seeing growth in people’s writing and love that there seem to be deeper themes and bigger words explored. Of course, anyone can write what they please. I am not judging; I am looking for my arena.

My personal site has been filled with spammers who would like me to mark my own emails as spam or buy their product. I have shown myself that I can keep a consistent schedule and will probably move to a new platform while keeping this one as a type of backup to the backup.

The horse and the elephant and the monkey and me, listen to the forest for the trees. To #taboo, meaning sacred, and came to mean unclean. We #mew about while the falcon molts. Our missions, in a widening gyre, receive and emit.
#vssdaily #prompt #vss365

The Prompt Master this week is @LesleyAnnFogle

This was an honor. I wish it came before I took my hiatus. I’ve done hundreds of these, mostly under vss365, and earned the respect of the community, but they did not respond to my request. I almost wonder if it was a matter of followers, judging by some of the prompt masters. I did get turned off from vss365 by the political right-wing ranting of a prompt master who put their association in their profile name, so that it appeared that the political opinions could have been ties to the group. Or at least been a platform for divisive cocoa puffs. Write a poem about it, faboo flashneck.

The Prompt Master this week is @LesleyAnnFogle
The #vssdaily#prompt for March 22, 2022 is #mew

1-a gull
3-an enclosure for trained hawks—usually used in plural
4-a place for hiding or retirement
1-to utter a mew; to meow
2-to shut up; confine (used with up)

I’ve done many prompts now. Things have gotten so busy for me that I almost have to choose between prompts and other projects during my morning writing time. And I needed space to know what daily prompt writing is accomplishing. Am I learning enough from presenting to this group in lieu of research? And is my writing style being influenced by an exchange of Likes? Or by the short nature of prompts?

I’m working on some new training in addition to adjusting to new work. Will find a balance and pop back in from time to time. I do love many of the people on there–hearts and souls of poetry. I am around many “brand” writers and often wonder what kind of spell people are under that the realm of poetry too has to be reduced to slogans.

Jon was starting to feel hangry. “What a stupid word. Do we all just pull up language by the roots and salt the earth? It’s like a destructive child making mud castles while lightening #larrups a tower and all comes crumbling down. The child can’t be bothered to look up.” #vss365


It was a war of attrition. Zno babies were raised as slaves. Sae could feel her child #tremble and awaken at the magic age of 7. In harmonia, she absorbed the tacit vibrations, then #thrust, from her bones and throat, dominant waves of calm resolve back to her child.

Lorn and forlorn are words I can get behind. Forlorn is more common nowadays: to lose, forlost to the point of completion; lost or left behind.


The godforsaken creature reeked of deadly sin or revelation—black sun, blood moon, and starlight stripped from the sky.

Aza, she #breathed. I will find you and set you free.

Amus Thal she/her 

somewhere between poem and stream, for national poetry month

Amus Thal she/her 

It was you, Amus Thal, who never got
the shirted pall down over your face
so they never recognized grace

[Recognize your blame. Understand them. Don’t complain]

while it softly, coolly granted time,
met them in familiar halfways,
always arriving.

They are broken wavelengths,
nerves connecting to their own ends,
to avoid certain death and disconnect—
how brave the cold. How buried the true dead

They tastemakers never swallow
Nothing reaches past the salt lick/ prairie
dogs wait out the spitten rain in
airy angled pockets just above their level of content

You never wanted to be their dog—
rodential underminer of brutal fields—
chased out to run among heels and mown
meadows; they blink and cross a surface nurturance,
in simulations spurred by spire and spite,
for fields of rest dere served, by Thal Amus—

As inspiration thunders—
emptying buckets of dead-of-night,
preparing to treat the roots and dendrites
with what serves them just fine

Should have called it Pride.

This morning I bent a rainbow. Red came out and cured my hardening eyes. You came in focus for the first time in years. The word you didn’t say was “friend.” That has always been a problem with you.

He used to say I’ve saved his life so many times by writing and talking with him. We shared a love of writing, especially poetry. I have a long appreciation of correspondence between writers, and I was just delusional enough to think he thought of me as a writer. We split the cost of a plane ticket so he could come here and we could visit with each other. He got the ticket, snapped to his closeup, and announced his epic tour, where he would visit his esteemed craftsmen and hold them close in grand existential camaraderie of what causes true writers to write. To suffer. To bleed. To keep it real but also not so real that it’s not real, and make it plain, too; because no one can understand complicated blood. Out they came, led by great fanfare and praise wrapped generously around their minds and pens. I wasn’t in there. Odd, I was just trying to visit with my friend and agreed to read here, and drive him to the next city over, where we could visit the International Rooms! I love that place. I helped him figure out who he could contact to try to read with and where.

Our relationship shifted as he got re-involved with his ex and wandered into psychosexual territory. Hmm, what can I safely talk about here and still give some privacy…how about the Oedipal Complex mentioned in his bio? That’s a psychosexual stage of development, and I don’t need to hear about it unless my help is sought solving it. The reminders of his prowess, also widely shared in email; I was embarrassed for this woman when I read it. I won’t go into the one that hit me the most, out of privacy, and the need to keep that dissonance out of my subconscious. By the time he looked at following this love—a big one—while dating others, including one half his age who seemed to need elder energy (martyr), I was unable to process any more. I argued that this was confusing behavior if he wanted to get closer in the relationship he had flip flopped about but was currently in flip mode. That his claims of her jealousy may come from this kind of uncertainty. He practically wears a sign that says: Emotional Instability Coming Soon. And carries a prop sunset he can ride off into, while a broken record plays on the bakabaka jukebox. Whiskey, cigarettes, Camaro or busted pinto; Camus on the corner sneezing from the cold; contagious snot flying through the air to infect anyone who gets close.

That was in early July, one of the last times it felt like we were friends. I wrote the next day and apologized profusely for my intrusiveness and truth-bomb spinout. I shouldn’t have been on the phone that long in the land of dissociation. I didn’t want to relate personal things, but I did and apologized. I don’t like seeing women treated poorly, and even now when he speaks of her, it is with a one-sided view of heartache. But what do I know as a bailing tour partner? A show skipper? A bad Uber? When he writes, he lumps me in with her: the two of you. Except I’m a cited as a stranger, not a former friend. Not sure if that means I am also trash? Class is gonna class.

Back to that phone convo, he didn’t talk to me for about a month. I’m ok with friendships that drop off when things get busy, but I’m very tired of punishing silent treatments. They are destabilizing; I use my mental energy to wonder how I can make things better or get anxious it’s all over. I’ve had so much loss and am trying to work on that grief with therapy. Covid hasn’t helped, except that I’ve outgrown loyalty to relationships that see my time and effort as the actions of a doormat. I accidentally texted him during this long sulking stretch, to which he implied my text was no accident. This took me back to our previous conversation where Romeo got a text from a girl who pretended to accidentally text him, then he went on about how she wanted him, and further how three women at that same reading wanted him. What the actual what.

Tour was October, that was July. I take my close friendships very seriously and this one became confusing and weird. Meanwhile he’s all BADDA-BING online and everyone is his Brotherrrrr. That’s also the last time he acknowledged me on social media, to like a picture. He never once liked any of the writing I was finally starting to post online. I texted him about this and he replied not to send him heavy texts. Our last email was in August and he knew I felt estranged and not into further investing any of my leftover aorta into whatever was happening here. This wasn’t the friend I’d really gelled with and loved. He’d already pooped on the plans I made for us to hang out at the International Rooms—didn’t think any of it sounded like fun…not fun? YOU’RE NOT FUN. The he’s coming at me with “boundaries” he must have discovered while giving a one-sided view of how I figure into his problems. I could have told him, but that was not the game happening here.

Life goes on. I enjoyed being yelled at after I came in from a week-long shoot and was rushing to prepare for a family dinner and birthday party. It wasn’t scary, just another push-and-pull. There was another round of him paying me back for not being available by saying he could pencil me for a talk the following week, while he acted like Mr Popular and Mr-Available-To-Talk-Anytime to others online. He knew I was out on this bad idea long before he came here. He’d traded the ticket I bought him toward a ticket from Portland. And the Athens things he secured through a friend of mine. Acting like he didn’t know I was not participating and stranded him is just annoying. Played me from the start. Now he’s got the t-iii-g-h-t hookup in my town with our mutual friends, he can have them. I have friends but not a lot of time.

I did apologize that it went down that way. I miss him, but he is destabilizing for me, and life has been easier without weird tensions and paradoxes. I’m not a bored person, and giving my time to an important friend is one of the most valuable things I can give. It hurts, but I’ll survive. What I’m not sure about is why he’s writing about me so many months later. He blocked me. Sympathy? Clearing his name? I don’t believe I tarnished it, unless someone needs a talking to. Is this so I’ll be jealous that he’s involving his inner circle into celebrating his book release? Great. Is that the final circle of hell?. Or is there an even closer circle where you get to help him with his aspirations, give pep talks, and send clips of writing and music after he lets you know you’re the trash enemy. I still can’t tell if that was directed at me or the lady he loved.

~ Skipper

witches and midnight with their adders and newts

I wrote this poem on a prompt of the word midnight and wanted to share some insights on the word choices. Without getting too deeply into it at this time (though I wish this was my job), I’d like to share a short key.

At midnight,
the witches gather
and abdicate their veils,
revel by the sconce
of fearless perception
on the winged misdivision
of the adder and the newt;
sing basilisk elegies and play,
then fly away when lore
gives way to darker hours.

The Witching Hour is from midnight to 1am, and the Devil’s Hour, the darker lore, is from 3am to first light. The 3am time is thought to be an inversion of the 3pm time that Christ was crucified.

Veil refers to both veiled feminine insight, personified by the goddess, and the veil of perception between worlds, most notably the mortal world and the preternatural world. Veil of perception also refers to mystical insight, studied and learned on the quest for transmutation. Females were long kept from study, science, sacral roles, healer roles; and the female alchemist was moreoften referred to as a witch. They don’t explain this well on the CW channel. Popular culture puts a lot of more work to put into fetishizing the feminine and nurturing generations to assume gender roles.

[I hope this explains to a certain friend of mine why I trailed off when he referred to my work as “witchy shit.” I study all kinds of things and have been writing a long time, so it is annoying to hear my efforts dismissed as being some kind of misunderstood mystical lunacy. Many have hemmed me into self-doubt over the years, by implying or directly saying that my work is too opaque–Dense! Confusing! Baffling! Weird for the sake of being weird! Perplexing! Cryptic! A word spell striptease! You have to slooowly arrive at a plain, relatable idea: the arrival!]

It took me many years to realize the gift of outer critics and how their energy frees up my inner critic.

Okay, it feels like a weight is lifted every time I post about the slights that have chipped away at my energy, enthusiasm, and motivation. I will get back to the short & sweet key. … And not go on about how gender is weaponized, consciously or unconsciously (please do wake the fock up), to reduce competition. The gloves fit differently but they are on.

Sconce refers to light, illumination, discovery, revelation. From Abscondere! Abracadabra!

Hello, Los 😉

Regarding nadder and ewt, the misdivision reference is about bracketing, or metanalysis. Nadder lost the ‘n’ from spoken ref to ‘an adder’ and ewt gained an ‘n’ from ref to “an ewt.” Spelling mistakenly recorded. I liked how the imagery conjures the idea of treacherous witches stirring their cauldrons and adding eye of newt or tongue of asp. There’s more on why misdivision is winged, but it is work to clarify, and basilisk is next.

Basilisk, adjective, means spellbinding, and as a noun is a lizard; and as noun in lore, a lizard known for its lethal stare.

Kinda cool, right? Cool to reflect and consider language and poetic reference. I do understand the need to give some context and always read the Norton Anthology notes, etc, especially with James Joyce. How cool! But I don’t have a whipsmart publisher. Yet. I’m standing between critics and breakthroughs to new levels. And I am hungry to spill gold.

Time still for gold to spill: the fleece, the bough, and the ratio
All those mysteries alive at your fingertips
Above as so below

(from a song I lyricized and sang years ago with a talented artist who hasn’t released it yet, probably due to the pandemic. It refers to the golden fleece, the golden bough, and the golden ratio. Did I need to say that? We’ll never know.)

Forlorn and tired of weak sauce on my word salad

Lorn and forlorn are words I can get behind.
____Forlorn is more common nowadays: to lose,
_________________forlost to the point of completion;
________________________________lost or left behind.

I am           solorn
lovelorn      hopelorn
sadlorn          greedlorn
thricelorn    sixpencelorn
anxlorn    neurolorn
sublorn    lostlorn
hatelorn gherlorn

A psychic messaged me on Twitter to say there were snakes posing as my friends that would like to see my downfall. How cool is that?

I don’t think so, though. Thanks to two years of Covid, I haven’t spent much time with peripheral friends. I’m at an age where loyalty is no basis for overlooking weird tensions or getting involved in pockets of social hierarchy. Many artists are looking to connect, but you can’t find simpatico vision if you’re maxing out your time/energy with the wrong people. You can tell the wrong people because they will ignore your work. If you work hard at writing, they’ll ignore it. If you sing, they’ll ignore it. If you make a video, they’ll ignore it. Whatever you accomplish, they’ll ignore it.

I had a couple of nut sandwiches barely try to conceal that I was on the menu as they were trying to show off for each other. I almost burned the gymnasium down with my mind but got out of there before my face dropped too far. Can you imagine winding up to be surly with someone the moment they appear? Being so scrambled into caricature that internal reflection is not something your icons would have done? Hawking the scene from within a bad novella? One bumbler actually told me I was not in my place: “Blah blah shiny blah, I was surprised you got that bone of recognition because we didn’t sanction it and also so and so is so much better at what you do, don’t you think?” All I could think about was how they were going to dress up such a lame story when they retold that yawner to their sycophants, while trying to insert themselves as a bold VIP in some weak game of broken thrones for The Great Hierarchy of Mediocrity. #hierarchyofmediocrity.

I had to get out of there fast as well, before my face fully morphed into the wolf-woman who feeds on outdated social roles. I had to get Hel, Baba Yaga, Kali, Keres, Eris, Nox, Scylla, Charybdis, all the Banshees, and some chimeras to talk me down. Why are these two so threatened by me? More accurately, why do so many women behave awfully toward other women?

No thanks! I’ve seen this kind of thing a hundred times and every single time it results in a loss of time. No one cool acts like that. Talent in your arena helps everyone grow to the size of the tank. It is crucial to being in an actual arena. Stand by your vision, keep on with your work, and spend thy limited free time with people who appreciate you authentically, and not because it furthers their brand. You don’t need a train of people as you work on growing and understanding your artistic talents. Artists can determine if something is subjectively good without being told it is or because it is gaining in popularity. Music-poetry-art circles, by the very nature of art, could imply an intimate or transcendent connection, not some self-aggrandizing starfuckery.

Between stars and celestial starfuckers, orbiting weak-on-weak gravity, debris attracts debris.
Don’t be shackled to any false hierarchy. Honor yourself. See clearly.

Return Sigil: Create a Return Sigil to cast off haters

The universe is merely using your organism to watch itself. Alan Watts

Organ-ism. Heh. Who got by with making up that word? Were they paid by the word or hourly? I’d like to make an NFT for the word organ, but rent the ism.

It’s been almost two years of Covid and everyone is losing their shit. Pandemic breakups are at an all-time high as the anxiety levels rise and rise. Hear that sound? It’s a friendship folding.

I already vented about my close friend of nine years sending me a breakup text on New Years Eve. There was not one mention of a problem is our relationship. It is hard to discuss resentments. We got together weekly for smiles, yoga, strength training, and hugs goodbye. Years of walks together and hangouts in what I considered a valued, healthy relationship. Well, I was very wrong, and some of the things she texted me are stuck in my brain and messing up my focus across the board. I decided to make a return sigil using some of the resonant words from her texts. Is that dramatic? Maybe, but let’s look at her words:

I never knew her to be this ugly. None of those things apply to me. I have a healer’s drive with perspective that has reached individuals in the over 2,000 yoga classes I’ve taught, and in talking with highly intelligent minds. This is my truth. I don’t like controversy or relational aggression, and prefer to be known for the quality of my work. That may sound overly positive or naive to someone who doesn’t have to bring in their own work, but my intention is to show respect. Anyway, the level of rage that crosses boundaries this hard might be better reserved for someone who stole your identity, peed on you, talked smack about your pets, or stabbed you. I suspect a bad reaction to medication. 

Do I need this? I already struggle with feeling a part of this community due to the cool school headupass antics of 0.0000999999000001 of the community. That’s essentially 0 people, but they are heyday buddies who would rather mark their territory than give a decent welcoming. But this was a relationship I had put a lot of time into and nurtured. It hit me very hard and I can’t seem to shake the malaise. So I made a Return Sigil to release these toxic labels from my subconscious. I have a personalized system with sigil spelling, using swift focused energy and sealing with both logic and melody. Many use frenzied states of release, but I am already talking to the subconscious with a foot in the realm of the unconscious.

Next, I do the standard article and common word strikethrough:

Followed by the repeat letter reduction:

To come up with the remaining condensed sound symbols: narcistlgherfuyopdmg

Ironically, narcistlgherfuyopdmg, jumbles to “unhysterical god mfp” which shall be her new decretive nickname. Oh wait, maybe her shadow name? Hmm, I also see the words “supernormality,” “malnourished,” and “slaughter.” Slaughter gnomic? 

The next step is to make a sigil out of those letters:

Separate that from the outer directional sigils. Separation is very important, because you are returning what has been sent. The cast is the return and not related to the contents of what has been sent. It is not some kind of mirror spell, there are no reflections; it is a re-turning of a continuous motion to the intender. Combining them suggests you are placing the sigil on them, but you are turning a container back to its creator. The outer directional sigils say “these words belong to _.”

Funny part is that “these words” becomes “the swords” when you strike the extra e. I went with the sword concept on the name sigil:

Final Result

Now the tantrum returns to its generating lobe and has no power over me. I emailed my sigil with her contained content through the material world. It has entered into muscle memory.
If thoughts stray back to having any charge, I’ll do an emanation meditation using this image.

There you have it. Good luck with your relationships during this pandemic! It’s bringing out some new levels of deep aggression. Shadow work, where one examines their darkness, is an important practice for cognitive coherence–to let yourself honestly know–but shadow work can’t be done while blaming a persecutor. Blame-shifting has to be sorted so it doesn’t lead to a disorder. You can’t hide from either your inner monster or inner therapist.

Next sigil will focus on setting some new goals on track.

Stream – Mourning pages 1/12/22

I’ve casually collected royalty cards for about 20 years. I like to study the differences in the faces. You know, take meditative mini breaks to gaze at images, as we do with art.

I recently posted a mention of the Suicide King’s head stab as being a lost-in-translation situation. I’ve met a handful of artists who associated with the haunting self-sabotage of this image. Just as I did and do. How funny to find out it is all a big misunderstanding stemming from generations of artists lightly tweaking what they see from worn copies (prior to the printing press). There’s something about the subtle decisions on facial expressions from deck to deck. The Queen is worried, determined, glum, drunk, manic, cherubic. There is one card where she has a teeny smile. Jack looks like a young boy who smelled something that turned him into a mustached man whose lip brow sits between himself and the kingdom, thereby proceeding him.

I know I’m streaming into my blog and therefore should explain that last bit, but it is already a lot that I’m forming sentences. No one really thinks in sentences except maybe TV characters like Carrie Bradshaw. Also, I explain references to the Book of Thomas and even Montessori in a video I shot last year using these cards. It’s a series of face morphs from card to card, shot to accompany an After-Death Plan song. We need to release that to the world…of course, ADP has been sitting on finished videos from just before the pandemic. I haven’t felt like sharing anything, except writing and that’s because I’ve been exposed to a supportive group of talented creators. One day we’ll all be okay again? Post-pandemic sages full of appreciation.

The power of the cards, to me, has to do with our developmental visual processing of high contrast colors, black and white with the flashing red. Yellow after we get out bearings on the first three. Then there’s the archetypal logic system, the four seasons divided into weeks totaling a year, a royal for each month, and a suit for each solstice. Basic highly metaphoric symbols that correspond to the four elements, then resound as one’s folds of vision and insight develop.

I’ll save it for the linear notes on the After-Death Plan video.

When I hunted for this picture, I found it in an email I’d sent to a writer friend last year. I’d gotten up early to write and was still stretching my brain waves out of a lucid dreaming state. Sometimes you can find a writer to correspond with who understands creative flow and you can say just about anything to them without it sounding weird. So I told him of the serpentine nature of my dream and what Jung said about the separation needed to birth new consciousness…and something about the order brought out of confusion in a process similar to the birth of the cosmos out of chaos. And of how several myths describe creation as separation.

I’d helped a friend move a lot of stuff after decades years of marriage and my lat muscles were spasming in my sleep, which probably translated to snakes in my back, which probably translated to the deeper processing about the destruction of a tribe member’s relationship and stability. I never did process the loss of my friend’s partner as tribe; I had to choose sides to help my person through the pain. Honestly, they’d nested in a way that had all on autopilot and something had needed to change for some time. As friend, all you can do is take notes for your own relationship, unless the person asks to hear what you think. Then hope they remember that they asked your opinion, so you aren’t used as a scapegoat once their anger/hurt recedes. Best of luck in those situations.

Anyway, the dream was a reframing; it broke a ouroboric cycle and from that came the divine creation of transcendence to greater meaning renewed from the rubble. Or something like that. I’m not currently in the thick of it. There were some million militia march madness dumpster fires everywhere then, as the shadows of a blaming world came online in their isolation, flooding the solitudinous with that brand of high school bestie posturing and not “overthinking” anything…in the least…except for perhaps ranting on how they’ve been wronged.

The worst shadow attributes of blamers were everywhere. Even a few people I’d liked enough to invest time on became negative peekers who lurked around policing people’s actions, rolling their eyes at their expression, and overestimating their importance when it came to the lives of others. Tragically, not as much good comes to people who do not celebrate fortune (unless their own). It’s basic law of attraction: fortune avoids those who avoid fortune, and their bitter pills. Envy is about low self-worth, which can be hard to dig into and heal. A lot of people turn to mantras or songs to generate a balance of wavelengths. It beats sitting around nodding about how narcissists and toxic people hurt them, when often they’re comfortable and didn’t want to read any further into looking at themselves or their projections. Too much effort! Overthinking! Or, someone scolded them as children for being too precocious or high-and-mighty. Told them that their forming opinions didn’t matter because they had not yet formed. Anger at this is a necessary stage, but forgive the souls behind such bad handling of stress, responsibility, and sometimes resentment of lost youth. Free them, free yourself.

I’m still trying to get the book FutureYou together, speaking of explosions and rubble. I need to bring in Cere’s ex sooner but can’t do flashbacks because it would further confuse the sequence. Think I’ll introduce him early via text.

[Cere is hanging out with Maena and Emma. ]

My phone buzzed. It was him.

“Everybody shut up.”

I’ll have to take you back several years for you to understand the psychic poverty I feel when I hear from him. Only thing worse is the constant feeling that I’ll never hear a thing from him again. None of these intense feelings of abandonment are even his fault. Most of them anyway and the rest is on me. I made a joke about it: Two anxious attachment styles walk into a bar and ignore each other. Rim shot: Ba dum tssh.

I looked at the text. There it was, short and sterile like a note to pick up milk on your way home—whatever hole or hearth you call home these days. I hate uncertainty. It’s like locking everything down in a waiting room. It’s like airport security when you’re late for your flight. It’s watching a train coming and not knowing if jumping in front of it would cause more or less pain. I’m so bunched up at this point that the preoccupation is all I have to move things forward past suppression–suppression that feels as if it is about to walk into detached repression and never look back. Rumi wouldn’t take that shit. You say what you want to say even if it’s crazed; no, before it gets crazed. Why am I so nonexistent? It’s probably that S&M pincushion he’s hung up on. I get that we feel nothing and hurt our bodies, but do you really want the mentality of a petulant and disconnected child for a lover? I realize I just described myself but my obnoxious discontent is wiser, seasoned…I daresay endearing? I mean, we keep the childlike state—keep the inner child’s freedom intact—but you have to curve the tantrums and the general qualities of an unexamined, immature human being. 

She said as she stereotyped someone she’d only seen one picture of—fuck, this is some sophisticated posturing.

That’s enough of that. I’ll soon figure out a subscription button that doesn’t need a lot of extra steps. From there, I want to bring in some guest writers. Reach out if you want to get in on that action.

Stream – Mourning Pages 1/3/22

Thanks for the tango with the dark side. Lord Vader says hello and I lost a chunk of my brain. Good news is that fewer people can affect me to the point of losing my mind now. As long as I stay sober, there will be no bottles of pills to swallow or precipices to examine. I also have my boo who could never live with himself if he just snapped off a piece of my heart then salted the rest of it with a message that it’s because of what a terrible person I am; stood there shaking his head saying, “Sad. Really sad.” Jesus, Becky, you are a mean girl pill. I’m really sorry about all of the men that like me. Let’s just put this out there where it can get some air: She can’t keep her men.

There you go. Finally, someone said it. You knew they were all thinking it. I knew that you knew that I knew that you knew it, because of the criticisms you threw on your other friend you stayed passive-aggressively angry with for years. You know, the one you’ll try to reconnect with after giving me the boot. The one who, when that guy did to you what you just did to me, you ruminated over her not responding correctly and took it as an implication that she thinks you can’t keep men in your life. Maybe she did, probably not. It’s called a projection and it’s what you fear people are thinking. Projections can be wild within grief, especially when you’re trying to appear like everything is okay. Look social media, here’s a picture of my sandwich. Mmmm! See how normal I am? Ew, look at that frumpy sandwich hater over there. Do you know what I heard about them?

You’ll attempt to reconnect with that friend, empty your bladder on my privacy, and ruminate on her every fifth word until it becomes a black enchantment that mathematically equates a new language of dead code which opens a demon hole, summoning a groggy mucker who will feast on your soul the moment it realizes what a sloppy wizard you are with controlling the dark forces you summon. And you’ll be helpless to do anything about it because it is only banished by empathy. Ruin and denial are just dessert toppings to this thing. Mmmm!

Either way, nothing will change because it’s just a cathartic little pick-me-up when you casually slay someone who trusted you with her very life and did the work every time a paranoid thought came into her own head. I did trust you and love you and absolutely did not put you down. What you have is a self-esteem issue which is completely understandable because I’ve seen some people do some disappointing things to you. None of those people were me. Could have been twenty-five years ago, but hasn’t been with us. You do not get to break my brain. Humpty Dumpty has a difficult time in this brain. But did you know that I’ve actually helped people? I know that’s crazy and vain, but it’s actually not; that was the inner critic talking. You have to tell it to shush and maybe don’t emotionally rely on people who don’t understand that?

But we do have to emotionally rely on someone, don’t we? Vulnerability. We know that children of emotional neglect can’t really see their own needs but do become astute observers of other people’s needs; they think there’s something wrong with them, toggle anger and anxiety, battle self-esteem, and are highly capable; but it’s a real struggle to emotionally validate ourselves because we didn’t learn it while developing. Oh boy, what a know-it-all—shush!

I’ve had to cut people off who have a destabilizing effect on me in order to compose myself and grow. I don’t think I reached in to tear anyone into a companionable state of misery. Though I was rather cold to someone and hope to make it right. I was scared because THIS is me being upset. It sucks. I have so much work to do and am emotionally threadbare on the topic of insecure chimpanzees and bonobos swinging at me to try to reclaim some feeling of power. My morning writing is not for them and it’s not for you. Once I wrote a poem about you caring for the birds. That was nice. This is not.

I gotta go pick all the eggshells off my shoes. You may want to trace whoever told you everything’s about you when you were growing up. And also trace that arctic punisher. Set those children free.

Streaming in the afternoon

My father’s birthday is in two days. I still can’t believe he’s gone and it has affected my motivation. Gatlinburg burned right after he passed. He took us there when we were kids and stayed there once a year when snowbirding to Titusville every winter in his retirement. That would have hurt him. Then Trump took office and the world burned a bit. It’s been civil chaos. Then this pandemic took isolation to a natural level. Right now I trying to understand when it’s safe for my family who caught Covid to return to their routines. Dad used to help me figure out logistics of things.

Harvard says, “In July 2021, the CDC recommended that anyone who is fully vaccinated and comes into contact with someone who has, or is suspected of having, COVID-19 should get tested three to five days after exposure. In addition, you should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until you receive a negative test result. If you are vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine, but you should isolate if you develop symptoms or receive a positive test result. Previously, the CDC had said that someone who was fully vaccinated only needed to get tested after exposure if they were experiencing symptoms. The change follows new evidence regarding the Delta variant, which shows that people who are vaccinated and then get infected (breakthrough infections) can spread the virus to others, perhaps to the same extent as those who are unvaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated, a 14-day quarantine remains the best way to avoid spreading the virus to others after you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. According to CDC guidelines, you may discontinue quarantine after a minimum of 10 days if you do not have any symptoms, or after a minimum of seven days if you have a negative COVID test within 48 hours of when you plan to end quarantine.”

So, Dad, if my brother, nephew, brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and stepson got Covid and got sick, then when can we see them? We were all together ten days ago. One got sick the next day, one got sick three days later, and one got sick four days later. I’m vaccinated, boosted, and have had no symptoms of anything (except a slight pain in my ass). I tested negative before contact, three days after contact and seven days after contact. I went to two places just yesterday and wore a mask. Your son-in-law has also been testing negative, but he did drop off an oxygen sensor to—

You know what, I figured it out. I just needed to take a breath and talk to someone rational. I’m going to write you a poem for your birthday this year. I still have Whitman, Sandburg, and all the books you gave me. And I even read the wild ones you warned me against, because what else would I do with her madness? It is in me. I’ve pointed the tips on her leash outward at least.

Dad, you would not believe this: scientists corrected a gene mutation in a live animal. My head is spinning, but no one I know really finds this kind of thing interesting, except my husband who marvels with me but you know how fast the marvels go. I can’t commandeer his mind with my associations. I read a cool piece on biocentrism and it reminded me of a song I wrote not long after you died called Hurricane Irene. I do wish I’d studied math to the extent that you did, but the logic equivalents of words has always suited me better. I’m sorry about my silence. I’ve been working on a formula. I need to keep Mom in the room, too. Early mom. Really wish you two had found a way to smile about your time together. I understand now why you didn’t smile more at us when things fell apart. We’re all human.

I’m going to read some things out loud to you just in case you can hear me. Of course you can’t, but then again, what do we know? It can’t hurt. And talking to you makes me feel safe, loved, and valued. I love you.

Stream – Mourning pages – 01/01/21

You’re bringin’ on the heartache Takin’ all the best of me, oh can’t you see? – Def Leppard

Happy New Year! One of my uber-important best friends gave me the pink slip last night out of nowhere. I’d see her once or twice a week to practice yoga and we’d talk, smile, and hug goodbye. Her stupid Christmas gift is sitting on my desk. I’d gotten one-word answers to inviting her for dinner or checking in over the last few weeks. I could not tell if my friend was being distant because she needed space or if she needed company. She had a hard year, major unfairness, and a broken heart. I texted her:  “Hey, I get a sense I shouldn’t text? You don’t respond. Please let me know if I upset you somehow. Not my intention.” She responded with this doozy of a text:

Anything that starts out with “First of all” and is this long can’t be good. Turned out she didn’t want to be my friend anymore, so decided she’d level with me in an arctic, nuclear text ending our friendship, offering no conflict resolution, and using her anger to hurt me as her latest target. I don’t knock her when we get together. My husband will tell you that I put the kabosh on anything negative being said about her and it’s only fucking praises that came out of my mouth. I was committed to keeping our friendship for the long haul. The best part of this text is where she tells not to respond out of respect. Respect! Blame and run—emotionally detach, shut me out, dump years of commitment, and justify it. This same thing was just done to her by a guy and it broke her heart. So she did it to me! 

And let’s talk about the man who did that to her. My husband and I were never invited to hang out with him, though I found out much later that they hung with her other friends all the time! Weird. She didn’t like telling me about things that bothered her about him because I’d perceive his character based on how he treated her. She’d say things like he never introduced her to his friends then watched my face to later decide I’m judging her–a real setup. Last people she’d dated did some horrible psychotic things to her and I was there for her in the aftermath. But instead of exercising the self-respect that would keep one from shirking their friends with the next potential partner, I was left out of the fold for my unnerving clarity. Oh, and it was suggested I’d been blamed for her past alcohol use which started well before we met. He didn’t want us going out because she drinks with me? But I didn’t actually go out much and get up early, and I was the one who introduced her to exercise which is mostly how we spent time, so she really just sacrificed me to align with his sobriety. Her own personal scapegoat! I saw it clearly, shrugged, and forgave her. I forgave her each time she postured that her anger was in check by projecting on me about my anger. Her soundbite lately has been to say that my anger is scary—poor thing! Anything to avoid doing her own shadow work. 

She desperately needs shadow work. There’s always something irking her. She’d eventually get mad at this uber-hyphen. Psychic wars at work, perceived slights left and right, cutting family members out of her life, policing her neighbors, becoming super cranky with passive-aggressive blaming and constructing conclusions based on anxiety and past damages; ruminating on whoever is left standing beside her instead of meditating to fight the inner critic who just wants to fight. This is her pattern. It was only a matter of time for me. No doubt she’s connecting with that old friend she crapped on in spades, now that her complaints in said text sound a lot like what she cranked on about her old friend. She has to be targeting someone to get out of facing herself and the rubs on her mirror. This text was such an awful projection that I couldn’t be sad. My response sucked:

And it got worse. The whole thing sent me into a tailspin, probably the intended effect. Why else blindside and discard me like a bad habit on New Year’s Eve? I know she started seeing a therapist because we always talked at length and I’d encouraged therapy and therapeutic writing. It was such a load of bullshit and I’ve already been through this since Covid started. She’s not the first person to lash out at me over their own insecurity. And she threw that loss of friendship in my face to hurt me. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have told her about it.

Do my female friends know that I don’t have any female friends? Anyone know why someone would accuse a girl of having no female friends? Is she saying that I need male attention or that she’s mad that she doesn’t have male attention? Very confusing. I also think she should be straight with her new therapist instead of putting her stuff on me and not the guy who cut her off and publicly said terrible things. She invited me to Thanksgiving last month, but I had an in-law gathering that ran late. I did consider us family, but I don’t need the kind of family that casually betrays you with a note to return her keys. The “woes” about me she mentions was about my family getting stranded out-of-town after a fire-related engine failure. I had to stay home to help figure out what to do as they were hours away in a town that had no open rental or mechanic shops. With a cracked engine block, we haven’t had a car in about a month. There was no offer for a ride. Just a scolding about my whining over telling her my woes for apologizing that I couldn’t make a gathering. I directly communicated that we’ve been overwhelmed with holidays and heaps of stuff and half the family getting Covid. Did she give a honk about any of this? No. Built a case against me. Why couldn’t I read her pain…I worked on healing her muscle issues for years. I started our exercise habits and got her into history walks, nature hikes and this whole time she thought I wanted her to feel bad about herself? I am not amused. This projector is like a Hammer horror film stretched to the wrong ratio. Hyphen hyphen hyphen. I wish I had a farm I could dance around while putting on airs; suck on a hayseed and ignore anything that isn’t practical or godly. She’s leaving anyway, so this was all probably just a convenient excuse to burn it all down with a bonus drama and victim sympathy. I actually understand burning it all down. Wait–was that condescending to say I understand? Sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry. Sorry sorry.

I can’t feel guilty over perceived slights after putting years of consistent time and energy into caring about my core relationships. Truth is, this resentment and relational aggression has been holding me back. I asked my friends not to reach out to make sense of it because an attempt there will probably be made to put tension on our relationships. I’ve seen this before. I’m strong, hard-working and unafraid to be proud of myself or my friends. It’s clear a number was done on her head as a child over thinking too highly of herself and doing anything expressive. She likes to call artists interested in many things narcissists! Perhaps she was kept small and maybe that’s why she’d go silent when I discussed things that mattered to me like my music or writing or engineering. How pretentious! I used to cover up the best parts about myself, so she’d feel comfortable. I finally started writing in prompt groups which she ignored. She’s not the first and I’ve moved on to supportive artists—not going to stop. I work hard on my stuff and have outgrown people who are uncomfortable with my growth or frame my rich inner world as selfish, just because theirs is detached with emotions unexpressed, jumbled, and un-communicated. And now, evaded for a grip on control! Poor victim not gonna take no shit!

Never feeling good enough had nothing to do with me, but she put her suspicions on a safe person who would have been loyal to her forever. Too bad, she absolutely deserves love as much as I do. But I’ll never give my power to her again. This heart is closed for business.