joannebest











{December 24, 2015}   Harder Than They Told Me

christmaswou4
well it’s Christmas Eve
but I don’t feel Christmas in my heart
oh it’s Christmas Eve and I don’t feel a thing
yeah it’s Christmas Eve
and memories keep running through my mind
yeah it’s Christmas Eve and you aren’t coming back

they told me it gets easier as the years crawl by
they said there’d come a time
when I would smile
they told me I would feel your warmth
your love surrounding me
but all I feel are teardrops in my eyes

nothing is the same since you’ve been gone
no matter how I try to get along
nothing much makes sense to me
I’m not the girl I used to be
another Christmas Eve again without you here
christmaswou3

christmaswou

for all those alone at Christmas, even if you’re surrounded by people, and for those alone wishing desperately that they weren’t… for all of us who suffered loss of any kind…. sometimes, it’s more raw than you expected and…. well, as alone as we feel, remember, we aren’t alone, even when it seems like it, but sometimes we need to wallow… shutting up now to watch Christmas movies set unrealistic expectations so we can all feel worse about our lives 😛

Merry Christmas my lovelies, you keep me writing, and while I’ve been MIA lately, I’m dipping my toes in and New Year Resolutions and all {happy dance} so try and enjoy, and I will too, a New Year and new beginnings my friends, yes?
oh, one more thing, this is being written as song lyrics and I just spit these words out a little while ago and didn’t want to forget, keep you updated on the outcome of these words 🙂

All the love from me to you ❤

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{October 11, 2015}   Is This Hell?

hell2

I ate my anger last night,
as if the instigators of my fury would disappear
swallow by swallow, bite by bite,
me furiously chewing without pleasure,
like an alcoholic slamming down drink after drink
until they don’t consider themselves drunk,
but they consider you the cause of every wrong thing in the world,

Carmelo bars, caramel wrapped lovingly in chocolate followed by another bar,
piece after piece popped in a mouthful of sand where everything tastes like the desert,
eating without thought, without taste or pleasure, mindless zombie chomping on chocolate flesh,
Kisses, the chocolate ones, I grab that tag and yank, exposed chocolate in the palm of my handy waiting to melt in my mouth, not in my hands, call my name seductive,
no melt danger there when you eat so fast you don’t taste a thing,
stress eating they call it, but I just call it stupid, a lack of control on my part,
because I hurt no one but me and my favorite skinny jeans

I smoked too many cigarettes again,
after promising myself and my doctor I would quit,
I did quit once, for maybe a year but then my life fell apart so I grabbed onto the nearest mentholated excuse
and drew that acrid smoke into my lungs like it was clean healthy air,
knowing in my mind that just because I roll my own cigarettes doesn’t make it less hazardous to my health
the cost may be less for a carton of machine-rolled than a carton of store bought cigarettes
yet the cost to my health is beyond my means,
all the psychological games I play in my mind to stop me from smoking disappear along with the menthol smoke
and I feel disgust as I look at the wreckage I’ve left in my wake,
empty candy wrappers and an overflowing ashtray adds to my self-loathing
and I wonder when I lost control of my self

infighting and passive aggressive words thrown at me,
and how do you defend yourself against imagined sins when your accuser throws back another shot
as the mental flogging goes on and on and on,
only to be forgotten in the light of day as my self esteem shrinks till my heart is shriveled and Grinch-like
and I flinch at the slightest side-look, waiting for another shoe to drop
knowing all the while I am shoeless, guilty of nothing other than
someone else’s paranoia,
imagined sins and baseless accusations, all courtesy of Mr. Daniels, but you can call him Jack,
he comes with a title you see, but I only know him as the Court Jester
because it’s all a joke you know, those words weren’t meant I’m told, where is my sense of humor and
why don’t I have a drink and calm down

why don’t I have a drink and calm down for
nothing matters you see,
the rollercoaster ride continues and I’m not buckled in,
I twist and turn and morph into a dumpster,
come one, come all, give me your tired, your weary, your problems
bigger than mine, for I am Jan Brady and the middle child gets all the garbage
while trying to keep the boat afloat,
all those years of taking care reduced to ashes
as the trophy boys hold their hands open, waiting for their due
and me?
I just want my Mother.
I want that unconditional love but it is gone for all time and
I must carry on, carry them, carry the guilt for nothing until I wonder,
is this Hell?

What have I done with my life and where did I leave myself?
Because I am gone, I look in a mirror and wonder who is in there, peering back at me,
eyes so sad I could cry from the mere sight of me,
stability ripped away like a rug yanked from beneath me
metaphorically battered and interior bruising,
my previous protectors an illusion shattered,
my desire to sleep forever whispers in my ear like a song stuck in your head
an effort to shake it away, and so much easier to continue wearing my mask…

Don’t let them in, don’t let them too close,
the knife you feel in your back is real, but ignore the blood as you slowly bleed out
play the game and you lose, don’t play along and still, you lose it all,
alone, lost, afraid, a path of darkness ahead and darker still in my rearview mirror
Is anything real? Did I imagine all the good that has left me standing alone,
fighting for nothing
fearing everything
I am swept into a corner and still I wonder,
is this Hell?

depression3



{August 7, 2015}   Where I’ve Been (And Why)

morning2Write what you can write when you can write else you may never be able to write again.

Substitute any word that may apply to you and your passion and never ever neglect it, because you never know when your passion, or your ability to pursue your passion, may be taken away from you.

My recent passionless existence began with a near-crippling case of carpal tunnel rearing it’s ugly head a few months ago. I’ve already gone the surgery route but all I got for my trouble was two wrists more painful than before surgery and two hands constantly reminding me that I have to choose where when and how I use my small windows of pain-free time.

So I stopped writing.
And began a downward spiral.

Fibromyalgia, once closed off in a box somewhere in my mind escaped much like Pandora’s Box, only this time, hope fled as well and I experienced the most excruciating fibro-flare I’ve ever had.

I shut myself down, nearly every part of me, shut down. Caring about anything became a distant memory. I couldn’t even fake it anymore. Nothing made me smile. Nobody made me laugh. I stopped believing in anything good ever happening to me again. Ever. Sleep became the only thing I looked forward to and the sound of the phone ringing made me cringe. My computer may as well have been nothing more than a dust collector because I had no interest. In anything.

I may as well have stopped living because whatever it was I was doing, going through the motions, was not in any way shape or form a life.

Grief.
I thought I would have been over it already. I mean, it’s been over two years since my Mom died, why does it still feel like it happened yesterday?

My whole world has changed without her and I have a new understanding of the effects of grief. My family has imploded. I used to have two brothers but now I have one, my older brother has basically cut me out of his life, guilt-calls my Father maybe once a month while I twist myself pretzel-like to do everything I can to help out my Dad. He’s going on 89 and while he can still be as sharp as a tack, he’s fading away. Lost without my Mother, he’s reimagined their life together, turning it into a Love Story For The Ages. And while I know the real version was nothing like he wants to remember, I agree with him as my heart breaks a little bit more every time I see him.
My younger brother and I have become closer than ever, as my older brother doesn’t talk to him either. The eldest, as far as I understood it to be, was supposed to step up and help us out. Instead, after taking my Father to his lawyer and having a will drawn up with him as the executor (not my Father’s wishes, but as the only one of us who went to college, his opinion seems to be the only one that matters) my older brother, when he was still talking to my younger brother, told him if anything in the will was changed, he would take me to court and say that I forged documents. He has some resentment towards me because when Hurricane Irene destroyed our house he wanted to put my Parents in an assisted living place while my Parents just wanted their house back. I, with the help of my younger brother, moved Heaven and Earth to make that happen and it pissed him off that I, a girl who never went to college, was able to get them back home.

So I’ve been dealing with a lot health-wise, and the three things that made me happiest disappeared. No more daily phone calls and Mother/Daughter getaways, my BFF became my occasional F due to, well, life, and my writing became a distant memory. With virtually no one to truly confide in anymore, I began to think of myself as worthless, cold and uncaring about anything. Basically, I make myself sickeningly pathetic and I’m sick of it. I sometimes wish I could just breakdown and cry my eyeballs out, but my feelings have frozen and I feel unmeltable.

Even my Birthday came and went without fanfare, it took me weeks to open the Birthday Card my favorite Aunt Judy sent me, as if I wasn’t even worthy of a card. I feel like an idiot for allowing myself to fall this hard and I realize I’m the only one who can save me.

And then something happened to wake me up. Out of nowhere, I received something in the mail from some very special Miscreants. There was no return address so it wasn’t until I opened it that I realized what it was, a fun pack that to this very second still makes me smile, hard.

Somehow, I’ve managed to babble about nothing important to anyone but me myself and I, but I have to admit, I feel a little bit better.

I was Blessed enough to attend two Facebook events this past week, one was a release party for
Anastasia Vitsky‘s new book Taliaschild and the other was Decadent Publishing 5th Annivesary Party.

They both gave me life. Inspired me. Woke me up. Stirred something in my soul to remind me who I am.

I’m back, and this time, I’m back to stay. No more not answering comments, no more ignoring life. It’s time to live again, and a great part of my resurrection is you. And you. Also you.
While these words are not my own, the sentiment is a perfect truth : “Love is all that matters.”

This time, I will not forget that.
And one last thing, I apologize to everyone I’ve seemingly ignored, it wasn’t you, it was me.
Love. It is once again in my heart, I would like nothing more than to spread it around.

a me I want to go back to these days (my Mom in the background, me and my Uncle)



{January 2, 2015}   It’s All Fine

fake smile
those instincts of mine
they fail me every time,
slither and slink and go awry
and my memory fools me,
shadows form in certain places
taking me back to other times,
when i believed the words you said
and maybe you actually meant them,
then,
now
i build walls, a fortress to hide behind
painted lipstick red
so i can smile and say it’s fine,
it’s all fine i say,
and yes, i am happy beyond belief because,
you see,
everything is fine,
and no,
you’re mistaken i tell you,
there are no tears in my voice
no longings or expectations,
because i’m fine, it’s all fine,
the reflection you left burned into my brain,
of course it still glows
but i’m fine
that waver you hear in my words
is nothing more than auto-tune,
intentional distraction, mindless noise
to keep the screaming in my head submerged
to a whisper,
a weak defense,
but a defense nonetheless,
so please,
ignore all flashing lights and warning signs,
because i’m fine,
it’s all fine
alone hoody



{June 16, 2014}   Silent By Default

mirrorsilent
there’s a wrinkle in my time stream
just enough to spin me ’round in circles,
i’m unaware of my direction,
unable to distinguish between then and now,
here or there or up or down,
because it’s not in my hands, not always,
i see paths intermingled but the signs all read the same
in a language i don’t understand,
so once again i find myself lost,
you used to keep me company, at least inside my head,
and if i told you i felt abandoned you’d remind me
of my tendency to fill in the blanks with black,
i stay silent by default,
broken only by the sound of whoever it is you need me to be,
i can slip in and out of every shade of me, or,
call on my improvisational skills for the duration of the scene,
i wonder sometimes, if any of this is real,
or maybe i just dreamed myself up and escaped through a crack,
until i find myself, or an answer to an impossible riddle,
silence is safest,
necessary at the least,
until i find my way back to where i began,
silence will keep my secrets,
as i float without purpose
and with no sense of direction,
silently
silence



{May 31, 2014}   I Am A Garbage Can

garbage2
At least that’s what my Dentist told me.
Oh, it has nothing to do with my teeth or what kind of food I eat. She was talking about middle-child-guilt-ridden me. And she’s right.
Let me put it in reverse a bit. First of all, I have the most awesome dentist in the world. She’s about the same age as I am and we have a lot in common. You know, except for the part where she’s a doctor and has children and travels around the world with her doctor husband and I don’t. But other than that, she’s the best friend I should have had.
It’s like I can talk to her about anything, and I mean anything. And I do.
Let’s put it this way, she calls me Crazy Joanne and in my book (and hers), that’s a compliment.
So I had an appointment this morning and it didn’t take much more than half a second for her to know I wasn’t me. I walked like me and talked like me and looked like me but she saw right thorough my fake bullshit smile and my “everything’s great” stride.
Didn’t take much longer for her to blast a big fat hole in my self-made fortress and break everything down to one little sentence; “you have to love yourself”, she said.
You know that punched-in-the-gut-breathless feeling? That.
“Oh,” said I. Quietly. “I guess I don’t really do that.”
“I know,” she replied.
~
I barely managed to halt the instantaneous tear trying desperately to escape my eye but I did. Then I told her she was only supposed to make me cry when she was sticking a needle in my mouth and wasn’t she supposed to be my dentist, not my therapist?
She just did that cocked eyebrow thing she does so well and may have possibly slapped me upside the head, or it just felt that way.
“You’re a garbage can,” she told me.
And in much more eloquent words than mine, she explained how I let everybody throw their garbage at me, that they get rid of it and I hold on to it. That I should close the lid of the garbage can and let it roll off my back.
She used a lot more words, better ones too, but that was the general gist of it all.
I am a garbage can.
And it’s time to take out the trash.
garbage



{January 27, 2014}   Another Day Another Blahg

blag
I’m stuck in a hamster wheel going nowhere fast.
No matter how hard I try, and believe me, I try, I can’t seem to get moving. I thought at first it must be just another case of writer’s block but that isn’t it. It’s more like I have life-block.
Make that life-block on ice.
Intellectually I understand there are valid reasons as to why I’m all funked-up, but knowing something and acting on that knowledge are two completely different animals.
The weather.
That’s an obvious explanation for the way I feel. Fibromyalgia and the coldest cold in forever do not good bedfellows make, or; the pain, she hurts. That good old barometric pressure has my bones and muscles on fire, like the devil’s got a pitchfork that’s been sitting in the fiery pits of Hell and he’s poking my body all over the place.
Repeatedly.
Buried grief.
I’m not an expert on the grieving process even though I’ve lost more friends over the years than I can count on all my fingers and toes. Grandparents, cousins, Aunts, Uncles, boyfriends, the whole shebang.
But nothing, and I mean nothing, could have prepared me for the loss of my Mom and it’s just recently that I’ve realized I still haven’t processed it properly.
I keep pushing it down, trying to go on as if my life is still the same when in reality my entire world is shattered and I can’t really talk about it.
I don’t want to talk about it think about it dream about it know about it deal with it, any of it.
I’m the biggest crybaby in the world, always have been but it’s like somebody put a lock on my tear ducts and turned my heart into stone, cold, frozen, sharp stone that weighs more than I do.
I don’t want to feel.
Which is convenient because lately I feel nothing.
Numb.
Dead inside.
Depression.
Yeah, good old depression has always visited me from time to time but now it’s packed it’s bags and moved right on into this empty yet broken heart of mine.
One of these days, I hope I can gather together my strength and somehow manage to pick up the jagged pieces of my heart and put it back together again.
In a non-Humpty Dumpty way.
blagg
AUTHORS NOTE: the pictures used in this post were drawn by me on my phone. There’s an app for that.



{January 23, 2014}   Done

frozeg
i’m covered in saran wrap
freeze-dried and going through the motions
nothing can get through,
not out, nor in, not anymore,
it doesn’t make sense to bother
nobody listens unless there’s a payoff
and i’m broke these days
i can blame it on the weather
taking into consideration the chill factor,
i don’t wanna leave my room,
see, there’s a portal there,
a one-way ticket to anywhere but here,
on the other side of my mirror i can see endless,
there’s a tiny little crack beckoning me
i’m thinking i may slip on through,
never look back
because there’s nothing here
fighting for my attention
unless it needs getting done,
and the only thing done right now is me
aliceapplee



{August 21, 2013}   When I Slip

depressed
when i slip into the dark
it wraps around me
like a comfortable sweater
till it chokes me
stealing my breath
holding me in place
silencing me
there is no way for my words to reach you
when the demon down deep howls in my ears
i can’t compete with the noise,
it’s exhausting hiding from my misery
that familiar black dog relentlessly nips at my heels
wearing me down till I begin to spiral,
i can’t seem to explain
to you or me or a roomful of empty pages
why the words don’t come, they just don’t,
i try but i just feel stupid
i can’t imagine anything really,
not when it hits me as it does,
when it crashes over me in abundance
and you so easily drag me out of myself
or the dark
or whatever mess i manage to mangle myself into,
don’t think i don’t notice
helphand



{July 8, 2013}   Missing Pieces

saddancinggril
there are bits of me
scattered all over the floor
puzzle pieces
broken and unfit-able
nothing lines up
and the colors don’t match
something is missing
maybe slipped beneath a floorboard
or hauled away with the trash
an accidental occurrence or a natural disaster
not even a million dollar check can change the facts of the matter
or make the days go by any faster
it’s all the same in the end
everything keeps on rolling even when my eyes are closed
nothing stops and there is no rest
just another missing piece of the puzzle
dangled in my face and yanked away
spotsink



et cetera