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abandon all hope ye who enter here

“Dante Falls”

dante_falls1dante_falls3dante_falls2“Dante Falls”
Watercolor on Upo Paper
2015

Done as an experiment. Additional images to showcase the details.

“The Four Humors”

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“The Four Humors”
Watercolor on Upo Paper
2015

The Definition of the Four Humors as taken from the world’s source of Most Accurate Information, Wikipedia:

“Essentially, this theory holds that the human body is filled with four basic substances, called humors, which are in balance when a person is healthy. All diseases and disabilities supposedly resulted from an excess or deficit of one of these four humors. These deficits were thought to be caused by vapors inhaled or absorbed by the body. The four humors are black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood. These terms only partly correspond to the modern medical terminology, in which there is no distinction between black and yellow bile, and in which phlegm has a very different meaning. These “humors” may have their roots in the appearance of a blood sedimentation test made in open air, which exhibits a dark clot at the bottom (“black bile”), a layer of unclotted erythrocytes (“blood”), a layer of white blood cells (“phlegm”) and a layer of clear yellow serum (“yellow bile”). It was believed that these were the basic substances from which all liquids in the body were made.

Greeks and Romans, and the later Muslim and Western European medical establishments that adopted and adapted classical medical philosophy, believed that each of these humors would wax and wane in the body, depending on diet and activity. When a patient was suffering from a surplus or imbalance of one of these four fluids, then said patient’s personality and or physical health could be negatively affected. This theory was closely related to the theory of the four elements: earth, fire, water and air; earth predominantly present in the black bile, fire in the yellow bile, water in the phlegm, and all four elements present in the blood.

Paired qualities were associated with each humor and its season. The word humor is a translation of Greek χυμός, chymos (literally juice or sap, metaphorically flavor). At around the same time, ancient Indian Ayurveda medicine had developed a theory of three humors, which they linked with the five Hindu elements.

The following table shows the four humors with their corresponding elements, seasons, sites of formation, and resulting temperaments alongside their modern equivalents.

“Cat’s Eye Nebula”

tumblr_noum5u88zc1tb0t8io1_1280“Cat’s Eye Nebula”
Acrylic on Canvas
2014

Done as a gift. First galaxy painted on canvas with acrylic.

a river in egypt

Did you know that I missed you the minute we declared we were done?
Didn’t make a difference in the end. We knew we’d run
From the other
To separate corners to tend to our wounds
With the taking of new lovers
But if I hold my head high
And stare straight ahead
Do I look colder?
Or older
Like I’m better at control
If I sip my drink slower,
Do I look stronger than I did?

“I miss you so much”
I’ve typed it out a thousand times
And watched my finger hover over the send button
Like I’m afraid to touch it
And I am
Because this is the first time I can’t tell you that I miss you and what else is there to say?
“Hey
I cried today
about our parting for the first time since we parted ways”
“Hey,
I sat in my car for an hour and lamented to empty air
About how I would never wake up pressed against your side
About how we were doomed from the very first smile”
It isn’t as simple as saying “my heart is sore”
I’m still thinking about how much we did
Now that we don’t do it any more.

So lets say I delete your texts
And I don’t check my voicemail for your voice
Nor think on your late-night calls that I never ignored
If I can do A through C
And if no one looks too closely at me
I can probably get through this.

If I just don’t think about the last night and the last kiss we shared
If I don’t remember your hands in my hair and gripping my hips
If I don’t remember your fingers tracing my lips
Or all the stops and starts of your heart in the aftermath
If I don’t remember the way we treated sex like it was an art
To be mastered
Then I won’t feel like I’m constantly coming apart

If I don’t think about setting fires with you at the end of the world until 3 a.m.
Or how I fell so hard without a care,
and the way you told me that night that the smoke smell clung to my hair
or the first time you complimented the perfume I’d wear
And the way you laughed when I rolled around in your bed
Rubbing smoke-and-perfume-scented skin against your sheets
So you’d remember me
Because one gray morning you confessed that you slid to my side of the bed when I left.

If I don’t think of the press of a body to mine in the dark when it was ridiculously cold and the heater was off
Or what if I forgot how absurdly terrible you were with romance?
Tell me
Did you know we were doomed when I told you “I can’t dance”?
Or was it when you noticed the interest in my glance?

17 years difference didn’t make a difference until we decided it did
So where did the difference slip in?
Or perhaps it was this: the first time I saw you, on stage with sheets of paper clutched in your hands and erratic energy under your skin
Or the first time you saw me, red-lipped and wrapped in black
Pale and speechless with eyes downcast
And your name already on my tongue
Can’t I just go back?
there was
A month
A week
A life
Time
Hell I know there was a day
before I knew you even existed.
Before that, was I not okay?
But not today
Today I remember the words “This is for the best” like a knife through my chest
while this isn’t the first time we’ve gone through this mess
I’m capable of dealing with it even less
But I think
if I repeat this like a broken record
I could put all that college psych 101 to the test
And tomorrow
“It’s for the best.”

If not,
Acting 101 taught me
That I can probably just fake the rest.

the quietest year

January
So
We don’t talk about it
We’ve never talked about it
We’ve had stolen looks
Innocent touches
Cigarettes smoked at 1 a.m. when no one else is stirring
Each others body language that we’ve been reading
We’ve had one stolen kiss
We’ve had, now two, impassioned nights
And we’ve never really talked about it
We’ve never returned to the admission of our mutual attraction and more-than-friendship
The knowing grins that sit on our lips
We’ve never admitted to anything
Not since our first kiss
I don’t know why we don’t talk about it
I don’t know if it’s because I like you more than you like me
Or maybe you think
you like me more than I could like you
But that’s not true
Maybe we’re both just really confused
But we wouldn’t know
Because we’ve never talked about it

July
So,
You left today.
It’s been one week and two days
Since our first and last time making love
In the pitch black of a room
Where I lay
Under your weight
My skirt hiked up, garters and tights pressed into thighs
Shirt undone
Skin and lips buzzing
Everything in me and around you heating up
While you pushed yourself into me
Quietly
Because we can’t wake your roommate
Because we’re doing something wrong
Because I think we’d been imagining this for way too long
Because anything other than the nails I’m digging into your flesh or the hand you have in my hair might ruin the moment
Because it’s killing me to be quiet
When I want to tell you how good this feels
Because this is the only time we’ve been free together
Because if feels like I’ve wanted this forever

January
I let you get away with more than some women might
Because I don’t like to have pointless fights
Because I really don’t care if I don’t see you or talk to you every single night
Because between us, everything has felt natural and right
And it doesn’t have to mean the world
It doesn’t have to mean “the one” has been found
Or that you even have to stick around
And we know that
So why is so hard for us to simply make a sound?
In a silent room,
With no one around
Now’s a good time to time to talk about whatever we’ve found…
Or we can sit
And stare
Like our silence isn’t just as loud.

“Fire Opal”

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“Fire Opal”
Watercolor on Upo Paper
2015

Done as a commission for a friend. It took a day and a half to dry, and that was with the hair dryer that was permanently attached to my hand. I included a couple of photos to showcase the details of the piece, which was large.

“The Fates”

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“The Fates”
Acrylic on Canvas, plus early sketch.
2013

Given as a gift. Red thread seemed fitting.

the devil & the details

They say the devil took the form of the serpent
To spy
Confuse
Tempt sweet Eve in the garden
But I think that’s a lie.
I think it was you.
I think you are a timeless being
Acting guileless as though you could not tell a falsehood
to save your life
No, lover.
I think it was you.
I think you tempted her with those beautiful words
you used to build up the mystery around you
because how would we know we were fools?
I think you’ve done it for a millennia and I was just one more link in a daisy chain that never ends for you.
Dodge the questions I hissed against your mouth when you pushed
with just the right amount of pain:
“Are you human?”
Human enough?
Human-shaped but something about you always seemed
too sweet,
to great,
too make-believe but still
not fake enough to warn me away
Tell me, was it was more blood than wine I drank?
Those sharp kisses at my neck—Were there fangs behind your lips?
There may as well have been for the mark you left
Was there venom in your sweat? Magnets under your skin?
I’m trying to figure out what Exactly
Drew my less-than-pretty soul to yours
That made rules seem like guidelines at best
Was it the way your heart pounded beneath your chest?
How much of it was you,
And how much of it was your lying tongue between my legs
And the drug that ran through your veins?
You blurred my lines between
Real and fake
Kissed my pristine parts
Told me I was Good
So good
So pretty
So very sweet
And yet failed to tell me that God
Had no home between these sheets.

in the name of the father

When I was 8, my father warned me about boys.

My father warned me to keep my guard up, all the time–never unlock the door to allow the stranger in. Boy’s lie, is what he said, “I can tell you how, where, with what and when.”
It was the only time he’s ever said something with desperation
Trying to protect me from a virus before I’m old enough to get bit.
Preparing me for a game I wouldn’t know I was playing until I lost it.
It always seemed very cruel to me until I realized that he would know. He used those same lines for those same reasons
and to the same success.
It occurred to me that my father had broken someone’s heart long before my mother ever existed in his life. I considered that my first lesson.

My father warned me about boys like you. The ones that catch with a clever glance and short smile–like it was a surprise–that you had no idea your lips could quirk in that special way until I stumbled into your life and gave that smile a different light, that laugh a different life, that heart a different beat.

I nearly failed my freshmen year of high school. It was the first year I fell in love. It was the first year I was dumped. These things are related.
I remember him crumpling up a paper full of “F’s”, and tossing it away, let’s hide the comments of “Your child is not putting forth effort.”, because no one I had ever known enjoyed Math, “Your child sleeps in class” because I’d stayed up late to hear my loves voice even though I would see him in a few hours. I’d wanted to talk about the way he made me feel–how alive. That was so funny to me. I couldn’t remember feeling anything until I realized I was in love. I was never going to give a shit about Math.
“Love isn’t going to provide for you.” He sent me to my room and called my mom, who realized what had happened and asked to speak with me.
He found out then that I had been dumped four days previously.
He felt horrible, because he hadn’t even known and I hadn’t said–what broken-hearted girl wants to hear “I told you so.”

My father warned me about boys like you, the ones that would cling. The ones that would cower when I showed fury or disdain or power. The ones that would crowd me, needle me, suffocating in the name of loving me.
“Where are you going? Can’t I come? Why don’t you want me there? Is it because your hiding something?”
I was disgusted, but no one was more disgusted than my father, who received an e-mail after I moved saying “I wish we could have met, but she didn’t want me to meet you.”
And my father saying “She’s 18. You’re 35. If she says jump and you say “how high?” believe me, we would never have gotten along.”

My father warned me about boys like you.
Mr. She’ll Never Know.
The talented liar he’d been dreading would come along, the one he’d been preparing for all of my life, prepared to jump up and tell me what was really going on.
He didn’t spot you.
You slithered like a snake right under his nose, and mine, and shattered me in one fell swoop. Fooled me completely.
You’d fooled him too.
That was my second time falling in love, and I was 22, and he didn’t say anything–just listened to me cry in the backseat as I was getting dumped on my way to work on Valentines Day.
And he didn’t say anything when he came to get me a few hours later after i got sent home, just gave me a hug, and left me to the television. I stayed there for hours.
And he didn’t say anything when he woke up at 6 a.m. and I was still there.

My father warned me about the callous boys and how sometimes he is just not that into you.
My father warned me about the boys who would pick pick pick–“Wear less make-up/cover your blemishes/stop smoking/you drink too much/you always wear black.”
My father warned me about the boys who stick around hoping to get laid or loved only to realize that if I won’t open my heart or my legs, then I’m not worth much to them after all
My father warned me about the boys who would not deserve my tears but would get them anyway.

My father warned me about boys like you.
Except you were 14 years younger than my father, and I was 25, and we seduced each other with words, with hidden looks, with books and jokes, with cigarettes at 1 a.m. and secrets–the ones you’d have to kill me to get me to confess, with the glory of being human and kind of a mess.
When I laid with you, I made a mental map of the network of your veins, your heartbeat, the beads of sweat and whisper of lips, turning myself inside out until I was little more than a nerve ending in a body. It was terrifying. It was beautiful. And God, did we confess.
I returned home three weeks later with a duffel bag, dark circles under tired eyes, and a broken heart, completely unsure of how to restart.

My father warned me about boys like you, the good ones that you don’t really believe are good because how can you even know anymore?
Boys who are nice?
Boys who are nice.
Boys who have sweet smiles and cherish laughter at 3 a.m in the tangle of sheets, that would hold hands just because, or welcome me at midnight because I’m miserable and anxious and need to be held in my sleep, the ones who make a home of skin, a shrine of thighs and a work of art of a guarded heart.

My father warns me that boys lie, and cling, and use, and discard and that sometimes, it is everything to you
And nothing to them.
But my father smiles and tells me to not worry, because sometimes they don’t and that is everything.

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