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  • The Poesy of Side Effects

    This is another entry in 's "Dark Poetry for the Cruellest Month,," this one titled "The Poesy of Side Effects." 

    It was supposed to be funny--you know all those crazy commercials we hear on TV about our heads exploding from side effects--and that's how this picture started out. But the muse had other ideas, as usual, and the bunny's thoughts of side effects were hardly humorous. To those who don't know me, I need to be medicated for a blood clotting disorder daily, and it's not fun.

    But at least the art that comes out of it can be! The bunny may be sad, but the piece is still whimsical...I think. :)

    This piece slowed me down on all the others, Magaly, so I'll try to pick up this week and just move forward.

  • Magaly's Birthday Dirge

    Today is the second prompt in 's "Dark Poetry for the Cruellest Month," where we are asked to write Magaly a birthday dirge, which is best described as a dark birthday poem. Here's mine, accompanied by a massive doodle from my sketchbook:

    Oh sweet Magaly, who takes away my breath

    The joy of your birth will be matched only by your death!

    When we will sing, Happy Death Day!, with a cake for our fiercest poet

    And say, "This is delicious! Too bad she doesn't know it."

    Everyone knows this is a joke, right? That I really don't want Magaly dead? lol!

  • Little Finds

    I just started a new junk journal--the kind filled with sketches, to-do lists, poems, whatever--and so was scrolling through my previous one, which is extremely thick and thus two years old.

    I stumbled upon an untitled poem that I most likely wrote for my friend Liz, who was going through a tough time. Liz is my homie on Etsy--a woman I never met in person or even talked to on the phone--yet in the last couple of years has become a deeply valued friend, as we've shared so much of our lives with one another in emails. Rarely a week goes by that we don't at least check in, sometimes just water-coolering about our Etsy sales, yet at other times talking about the most intimate details of our lives. She holds a hallowed place in my life these days...this soul out in Illinois who knows so much about me (and I her), yet who I've only seen in pictures.

    When I found this poem, I knew I'd written it for her, although I can't recall the circumstances. At first I thought it corny, then funny, then true.

    Untitled

    I will hold you until it’s over

    Listen ‘til the tears fade

    Hope for you when you can hope no more

    Dream for you a better day

    So cry, complain and fail

    I’ll lie on the ground with you

    We’ll point at the stars, at the gods and the saints

    And say, fuck you, and fuck you, too…

    Fuck you for all the suffering

    Fuck you for all the pain

    We’ll fill our cup with shits & giggles

    And let love pour down like rain

    **********************************

    Written sometime in January 2015. c Mary Ann Farley.
  • I Didn't Win the Lottery, But It's Close!

    Boy, ya never know what's around the corner. A few weeks ago, I received a few notifications all at once from a woman named Jennifer, who said she was interested in buying a huge amount of my art on behalf of a pharmaceutical company, who would then like to exhbit said art in New Orleans in December at the National Hematology Convention, with me in attendance.

    Huh?

    My knee-jerk reaction was that she was an art scammer, as these diabolical people often approach you by name and even know the names of your artworks. But then it hit me--how would a scammer also know that I had a serious blood clotting disorder?

    It turns out Jennifer was real, and there was even more to the story. The company, Incyte, also wanted me to attend a breakfast in Times Square on Sept. 3, where I would be part of the ringing the NASDAQ bell to kick off Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Not only did they buy two of my prints to exhibit at the breakfast that morning (at the Intercontinental Hotel, no less), but they also sent a car to drive me to and from the event!

    And to put the cherry on top, for a few brief seconds, my smiling mug loomed over Times Square on the NASDAQ jumbotron during a series of photos taken during the ceremony just moments prior. Everything about that morning defined the very essence of the word delightful.

    But I'd be lying if I said I also didn't feel a slight discomfort about it all, as the bottom-line reason for my involvement was because of my illness, thus making it a bit more real to me than it already is. Believe me...this pain is real, as I live with it every second of every day, but there's also a small part of me that lives in denial that I'm a sick person. I'm not quite sure what I mean by that, as this pain rules just about every aspect of my life, and I've been quite open about it, both in my art and in my writing. I guess it's just hard to admit that it's now become woven into the very fabric of who I am, which on the one hand is a good thing, as it means I've accepted it, but it also brings up the latent anger that's always just beneath the surface, as it's something that has been thrust upon me. I did not choose to get sick or to be chronically in pain, nor would I ever have wanted this to be the way that my work would gain any kind of attention.

    When I saw my face up there on the NASDAQ jumbotron, it was certainly a wonderful kick, but it could not have been any bigger of a reminder of the enormous role this illness now plays in my life. It has become part of my identity, as proven by my looming presence over Times Square for those few moments on Sept. 3.

    While standing there, I couldn't quite understand why I was feeling tears well up in my eyes, but now I know. This illness is real, and it's a permanent part of me now. God willing, the upcoming Oct. 2 surgery on my jaw will help ease this terrible pain, if not rid me of it entirely, as it's been with me for over ten years now. A decade is a big chunk of a person's life. While I'm thrilled to be a part of this whole New Orleans extravaganza, how much MORE wonderful it would be if I attended it pain-free. Should that come to pass, I do believe my smile could once again light up Times Square, only this time without the use of a jumbotron.