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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{September 5, 2015}   Lowering Liquid

jack3

the level lowers quickly,
that dark liquid magnifier,
a bottle lessens to a drop and another cracks open,
see, it’s the weekend you know, and everything must go
according to a fantasy schedule, unshared and unbelievable,
easier to play along till your bones are suddenly screaming from an unintended stumble,
collision unexpected and yes, balance no longer works,
soft reasonable patient words unheard,
slurry mumbled snark, the kind where they’re only kidding and
don’tcha have a sense of humor,
your sanity questions you to shake things up
and a bump grows on your eyebrow, stabby painful and nothing new
lather rinse repeat because it never goes away.
they fight for control but Jack always wins these days,
an occasional visitor who tends to overstay his welcome,
I think he sucks,
but when it’s over no one remembers the demon, just the angel,
all a figment of my imagination

jack



{August 13, 2014}   I Woke Up

nightmare2
just when you pull yourself up
the hammer comes down, like a whack-a-mole
on a cheap boardwalk game,
happiness is non-existent,
nothing more than a thread-worn blanket
thrown over misery then yanked away,
the only thing underneath is vacant loss,
hopelessness, and a lack of belief,
in me in you in everything,
i used to believe anything was possible,
and then,
i woke up
nightmare1



{August 2, 2014}   If I Wake Up Dead Tomorrow

dead2
if i wake up dead tomorrow
it might take awhile for anyone to notice,
my cats, well they would want me to feed then
although they do love me, this i know,
but sometimes i think, no, i know, they love me best,
selflessly,
even when they want their crunchies,
it gets hard sometimes, living up to my promise,
the one where censuring myself would never cross my mind,
but it’s begun,
little snarks here, direct accusations there,
it makes me wonder sometimes, who is more self-centered,
the reader or the writer?
we weave reality through fiction
and fiction through reality,
words flow, meaningful and meaningless,
as long as they flow it’s a gift
and oh we are blessed if we are gifted,
and we are all gifted, in our own ways,
but my gift it seems, doesn’t weigh too much, so,
usually,
i paint on my smile and lie through my teeth,
it’s not you it’s me and all that,
because it is me, mostly,
i was born on a Wednesday and nothing will keep the woe away,
you can preach to me till you’re blue in the face,
that is, when you find the time and i enter your mind, when you pencil me in,
yes, yes i get it, i get it all,
maybe that’s the problem,
i mean mine, not yours of course,
so if i wake up dead tomorrow
leave me be,
throw me in the ocean and weigh me down with bricks,
dress me in my favorites but please,
if you could, slip me a pen,
regardless of my surroundings, i always find something to write on,
if i wake up dead tomorrow i will carry on, wherever i wind up,
for i always do,
as you will, as you always do,
until then, i may whine, i may cry like the cancer-moon-girl i am, the lunatic howling at the moon
only my howls sound more like sobs,
but in the end i carry me with me,
i am now my hope,
the blood that courses through my veins belongs to me,
they’ve made that clear,
through actions and non-words my blood belongs to me alone,
and it will pump through this body
until that day,
when that tomorrow comes,
and i wake up dead
dead



{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



{June 3, 2014}   Rest In Peace Mr Big

big16
“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life – music and cats.”
~
Without warning, one of our cats died yesterday.
It was a normal day, me trying to break my writers block in-between the usual housewifey chores, windows open with a slight breeze gifting me with an occasional kiss as I ran through my well-caffeinated day from room to room multitasking, hoping desperately to break my brick wall.
The three cats were all sprawled in various places throughout the house, catnapping their way through the heat in their usual stretched out positions, safe and secure in their home because lets face it, our pets own us, we don’t own them. They just like to watch us pretend we’re in charge, it amuses them, but we all know they own our hearts and rule the roost.
It was nearing 7pm and nobody was home from work yet, I was taking advantage of the empty house to stare at the empty page in front of me and Mr Big was sprawled out at my feet, nothing unusual about that. Mr Big liked being around people unlike our other two female felines.
He’d follow you, chirping and purring and loving on you, so grateful for his forever home.
Mr Big, a lynx point Siamese was left outside when his owners moved. Abandoned. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to have pets.
After he was rescued he fostered in 3 or 4 houses, they were always multi-cat households and the excuse was usually the other cats didn’t get along with him.
My sister-in-law works at an animal hospital, she’s a vet tech, and we all followed the Tale of The Abandoned Cat, knowing we already had 3 cats and 2 dogs and there was no way we were able to…..
Yeah, we ended up with Mr Big, as we called him. Nobody had even bothered to give the poor thing a name, nobody knew for sure how old he was, but one look at him and Mr Big he became.
He was like no cat I ever knew, but the weird thing was he looked exactly like the lynx point Siamese we inherited after a neighbor passed away, they were like twins.
Except Mr Big was a love machine from the start. You’d pick him up and he’s put his paws around you, one on each shoulder like he was hugging you. He’d randomly howl for absolutely no reason then turn it into a yawn and a stretch, his Siamese cat eyes crossing before beginning a staring contest he always won. Because he had people eyes, not cat eyes.
Like clockwork, you could hear him coming up the stairs at night then he’d jump on the bed, do his best Stevie Wonder impersonation (Mr Big had bad vision and hearing) then flop himself down right in the middle of me and my husband, laying his head on one shoulder and putting his paw on the other’s shoulder. You know, so nobody would feel left out.
He’d stare at my face intently, his human eyes locking onto mine and he’d reach up a paw, claws in, and touch my face soft. Sometimes he’d try to lick my face and I had to tell him no thank you I don’t make out with cats and just keep petting him till I sneezed.
Did I mention I’m allergic to cats?
He was so long when he stretched he nearly took up the width of a queen mattress from claw to tail. And he’d lay his head on the pillow and get under the blankets watching television with us and purring loud with an occasional chirp thrown in there.
Then he’d remember he was a cat and spring up because he had to be somewhere else.
For absolutely no reason. Just cat logic.
I was petting him, explaining how frustrated I was with my writers block as he lay at my feet, he just did that low purr he always did, to let me know he was on my side.
I got up to make yet another cup of tea and stepped over him instead of making him move because, awww, it’s Mr Big, Senor Grande, The Biggest Man In The Vorld (that’s not a misspell, he demanded we say vorld instead of world, don’t ask.), Big Moner!
I stepped gingerly over him again so as not to spill hot tea on him and reached down to pet him only this time he didn’t purr.
I called him but I know he’s a heavy sleeper and half deaf so I got down on the floor to shake him awake and got no reaction from him. His eyes were half open but he sometimes sleeps like that and I continued to shake him, I started shouting his name, running my hands over him to feel him breathing, feel his heart beating, I checked his mouth, his breath, anything I could think of because this wasn’t happening I wasn’t losing another loved one we couldn’t lose Mr Big no no no no no God please no!
He was warm! He was just purring a second ago! All I did was walk a few feet and pour a cup of tea! There was nothing wrong with him!
Then I saw a puddle, forcing me to acknowledge the truth.
Mr Big was dead.
Just like that.
That’s when I started sobbing.
big19
“What greater gift than the love of a cat?” – Charles Dickens
big12big11big13



{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



{May 29, 2014}   Moon Shift

moonshift1
everything seems to have shifted
and to my surprise, i don’t even care,
of course if i take a step back,
and check the phase of the moon,
i’ll remember i am the moon and predictably,
i will rise after i sink,
but first i must sink, and this time i’m sinking deep,
throw it all at me in frantic spurts then
leave me in silence huddled on the floor,
unsure and on the edge,
set it on replay, with frequent pauses
just to throw me off,
none of it matters, because i don’t care,
not anymore,
it’ll all just shift back again regardless,
the infrequent bursts of joy will appear unannounced
and i’ll forget nothing is for keeps
till it takes me by surprise once more,
catches me unawares
and everything seems to shift again,
like the moon
moonshift3



{May 21, 2014}   Lie As I Lay Dying

hidebehind3
ask me how i am
and i will lie as i lay dying
while i tell you i’m just fine
and everything is grand
say you don’t believe me
and i will swear on my own life
that all i say is truth
and i am basking in the sunlight
ask me why i’m silent
and i will tell you i’m just thinking
of everything that’s wonderful
while writing in my head
say i’m holding something back
and i won’t disagree
instead i’ll redirect the conversation
towards anything but me
i’ll lie as i lay dying
before letting down these walls
there’s nothing for me now
except my final curtain call
hidebehind



{April 29, 2014}   Once Again

girlsmoking3
once again
i find myself smoking too many cigarettes
and sipping countless cups of tea
while my mind just wanders,
for a moment i see a sign,
dust-covered and peeking through the shadows
like it’s 1967
but it disappears like smoke
before i can decipher it,
there isn’t much i can figure out these days,
my feet won’t take me in the proper direction
no matter how much my brain screams out
i rebel,
causing my own demise
as i sit here,
inactive and inattentive
while it all flows around me,
another flick of flame and i inhale
extinguishing myself
one way or another,
once again
girlsmoking2



et cetera