Yesterday’s Coffee

Black strap,
cold and dark,
strong as molasses
with hints of amber.

I lift the carafe
to fluorescent lights.
Good. No clouds
pour into the pan.

18/10 stainless hits the ring
pretend fire on electric range.
I long for gas, and a pass…
forgiveness of my sins.

Boiling down to bitter,
cutting the edge with cream.
Why settle for yesterday’s brew,
while jars hold roasted beans?

Depression swirls in my cup,
settles to grit the bottom,
Why bother with a fresh pot?
Tomorrow is not promised.

I smoke my cigarette.
Inhale, exhale, life’s a drag.
Smoke trails white from red
ash covered tip, as I sip.

Where are the days
edged in mania?
Where are the nights
that break near dawn?

I can deal with racing thoughts,
a kaleidoscope of creative ideas
rushing faster than I can spin,
jotting notes to make art again.

Can I crawl back in my bed?
Take the time to clear my head?
Erase the words that were said,
By those who act like I am dead?

I put on my face with makeup,
shovel it on with a trowel,
then buff it off with paper towels.
Paint on a smile with Maybelline.

Soon I’m dressed and out the door.
My down side of up is a private war,
No one needs to know the score,
It’s time to laugh and smile again.

I would really like to make amends
to the man I loved as my dear friend.
His raw assumptions were not true,
But I do want my cake and eat it, too.

Why should a woman have to choose?
She could have friends and lovers, too.
Yes, I kept my secrets close to home,
I had to sort some things out on my own.

I’m warming this up like yesterday’s brew,
it was never a choice between the two,
I cannot understand, I’m lost and confused,
I miss my friend, but there is nothing I can do.



He dangled a
future in front of me
as an unattainable carrot
that only he could see,
then called me delusional
thinking that I want
what cannot be.


This selfie is proof that I am NOT delusional.

The painting is called SOAR… as in, NEVER TO NEST.  See those birds? I paint birds to represent souls. One of those two black birds flying solo is ME… the other is the old friend who cold turkey cut me out of his life via a one sided early morning text slam in January.

My art is abstract, but I am a realist…  I knew when I painted SOAR back in 1998 that there would never be a fairy tale romance leading to some happily ever after bull between us. That is one thing we had in common… neither one of us wanted that! I was fresh out of a suffocating marriage and the R.Tist was leaving before I met him.

Yes, there was a time when I wondered if we could be more than friends.

That was TWELVE YEARS AGO… he made it very clear that would never be, and described our relationship as a unique and special friendship back in 2004. Later that year, he moved to PA. The last time I saw him was in 2006, when he drove to Ohio to cheat on his then live-in girlfriend, who had gone to Vegas with her friends.

If he wanted to be with me, he would have stayed with me or asked me to go with him.  If he had a change of heart, his feet would have brought him back to me… that never happened so I had to get over it, accept what is as is… we were meant to be friends, nothing more.

So, I’m like totally confused.

I thought we were friends… long distance muses and friends.

I don’t understand why he would say things like he always doubted my ability to be his friend and how I could care less about what he’s going through… as if my interest in being friends with him was holding onto old hopes for more, rip me up one side and down the other.

Has he harbored a delusion of me being delusional all these years?

Maybe I gave him the delusion of me being delusional when I was twirling ideas of leaping in leap year… I wanted to run away, make a fresh start somewhere else and yes, I did considered moving closer to my old friend so we could hang out once in awhile and talk in person instead of texting.  He talked about moving, too. He’s the one who said, “yeah, I could live with you.” We did not talk about hooking up or anything stupid… it was more like a yeah, we could tolerate each other’s artistic quirks enough to share space, split the cost of living, make it easier to survive. Those conversations were like daydreaming out loud… just twirling ideas, nothing set in stone.


Can we make amends?

No… I am dead to him. He killed our friendship because I failed to live up to his expectations. My crime was being human. Okay, one slightly flawed bipolar human who self medicated during a manic stage and kept her personal life private, but it was really none of his business… and should have had no bearing on our friendship.

True, I could have been a better friend. He picked up on something being off with me… but was he there for me? No… when I told him that I wrote a letter to explain what was going on with me,  he mulled it through memories, twirled it with imagination, drew conclusions on assumptions, and slammed me with a text good-bye BEFORE the mail had time to arrive. Straight up, he could have been a better friend to me, too.

I’ve been talking to my shrink about all this… confusion, anger, mixed emotions is all part of the grieving process. I still care… I miss my friend, but I have to let the friendship go… it is dead.

We also talked about the death of my nephew.  I have a lot of anger, confusion, and unanswered questions about that, too. I want to blame the asshole who dumped his body in a McDonald’s parking lot. Paramedics were able to get his heart going again, but too much time had passed. The hospital tried heroic measures to save his life, even dropped his body temperature for 24 hours, but it was too late. He was brain dead. They took his body off life support last Monday.  I wonder where he OD’d, how much time had passed, if this dude purposely drove up to dump him on the south side of Youngstown, where discovery wouldn’t make the news. They lived way down in Columbiana County. What was he doing with that guy anyway? He was clean, why would he use heroin again? Was it by choice?

Shrink told me to keep writing… to keep doing what I’m doing… he said I seem more stable now, so that is a good thing. I feel more stable. I’m just grieving.

Thanks for reading.


Sixteen Changes

My word for 2016 is Change, if I go by one of those silly Facebook quizzes.

Good change, bad change, maybe just loose change, coins dropped into kettles trying to make change in someone else’s life, some little kid on Christmas morn.

Today I mourn the loss of an old friend and muse, a very talented artist and writer that I met at the Trumbull Art Gallery in 1996.  Oh, he is still very much alive.  He de-friended me via text, slamming 8 into my phone, having drawn conclusions on limited information. Even that is my fault… I closed ranks and kept secrets, lied by omission on things I wasn’t ready or able to talk about.

Must friends disclose all?

Some things are not really anyone else’s business… certainly did not think it would have a bearing on our friendship. He is right on one thing, his “u suck as a friend” because I have often been distracted or cut conversations short lately, but not always for the reasons he thinks.  No reason to text back, odds are that he had already blocked my number, obviously not interested in anything I have to say, so I mailed a goodbye letter with “no reply expected” scrawled on the back of the envelope.

Oh well… it was his choice to de-friend me.

I de-friended him on Facebook today, even though he has no access to his account because he forgot his passwords to both Facebook and email after his computer died, as a sign that I accept his decision.

Question:  Is it “emotional cheating” to talk/text with an old friend of the same gender as your lover?

That’s one of the things he accused me of… that’s the root of it.  He’s hurt that I did not tell him that I was quietly seeing someone, but that was none of his business.  He thinks I should have told him sooner, that friends don’t keep secrets… I almost told him many times, laid enough hints for him to guess, kind of waiting for a clue to open the conversation, but maybe something inside me always knew that when I did tell him, he would say good-bye.

I can deal with good-bye.

Hell, I grew up saying good-bye… we moved about once a year. I attended 13 schools before High School graduation, 14 if you count both vocational schools. I learned young that there was no see ya later, that attempts to stay in contact with friends via letters or phone calls would eventually fade, that when it was time to say good-bye, it was a good-bye. I’ve actually said “it’s been nice knowing you, have a good life” to some of my best friends, knowing damn well that I would never see them again.

But hey, life goes on… and the word for 2016 is change.

He is right that I have changed, haven’t been my old self lately, and that’s evident even in this blog. Just look at my “recent” posts, clues in the topics: Clarity, Iron in the Fire, Pumpernickel, Wired. Download and look at that print-able PDF chart from Iron in the Fire, look at the bottom of it to see what else I started tracking, along with sleep patterns and moods. Yeah, it’s coded for self-meds:  Al, Wd, Fd, Ex.

Barnbees, one slightly messed up woman… that says it all, eh?

But, you know what? I am stronger now than I have ever been.  I’m just me… flaws and all.

Yes, I have some issues, but they are my issues. I work on them because, bottom line, I like me… yes, I am selfish like that. I love life, I  like being me. If I think working on something, like learning how to live with this bipolar thing more effectively will make my life better, so be it… I am not trying to fix me to please anyone else, but me. I come “as is” so if you like me, fine… if not, oh well.

That’s an artist skin… when you make art and throw it out to the world, some people will like it and others will hate it. I don’t make art to please other people. If they like it, fine… if not, oh well.

Here is my first art of 2016… first art I’ve been able to finish in awhile (been scattered a bit). My sister gave me a block of 100% cotton watercolor paper, a brand I never tried before, and sent a few pencils, too. So, this drawing was pretty much just to test the new paper, to see how many layers it can handle, light or heavy handed, &c. Then I inked it so I will know how ink behaves over oil based colored pencils on this paper. Not my best, but okay for a first in a long time, colors faded by poor photography on the lower end.

Test Drawing

Thanks for reading… I haven’t been reading blogs lately, my apologies, there are a lot of things I need to start doing again.