Jan 17, 2015

it isn't vanity


a deeply held belief i adopted during childhood:

i am singular and will go through life that way.

i am trying to uproot it and it is very difficult.

scary as fuck.

the only place i feel entirely safe is within myself.

but that is a nebulous world.

mutable and full of anxious longing.

i take pictures of myself to prove that i exist.

not to prove it to you, to prove it to ME.

these shapes and angles and senses.

i take pictures of myself so that i can look and see and believe that i am

here, real,

walking and breathing along with the rest of you.

an attempt, maybe, to unhinge this belief in my own singularity;

to disrupt my distrust and make a window

in to (or out of) my own nebulous world.


Jan 15, 2015

no family's safe when i sashay


this man inspires me so much.

total fucking artist.


Jan 12, 2015

4 years ago today


languidly waking this morning next to Brian, i rolled over and looked at his sleeping face and thought, "my mom would've really liked you."  i smiled and rubbed his head and closed my eyes.  it wasn't until another several hours had passed that i realized what day it is.  it is the fourth anniversary of my mother's death. 

i was shocked that it wasn't the first thing i thought of today.  perhaps it's a sign that my life is no longer dominated by her death.  i think she'd be happy about that.  i think she'd be relieved that i am not walking around crying behind my sunglasses the way i used to, a calm demeanor presented to the world but wanting to be just as dead as she is in the aftermath of her loss.  my entire physicality felt like one big gaping wound.  sometimes, it still does.  i don't think i'll ever reach a day when her death doesn't cause pain.  i miss her incredibly and the world is a drastically different place without her in it.   her absence is so palpable some days, so pronounced...  how unfair it all is, how awful.  there's no way around it.  it directly effects the decisions i make.  her early death brought me face to face with the reality of my own mortality and it's impossible for me to take it lightly.

i wrote in my diary like i do every morning then went for a run.  i wanted to feel my body move.  i wanted to breathe heavy and feel blood coursing fast throughout my body.  i wanted to feel my legs getting tired and yet push myself to meet the challenge i'd set for myself.  i wanted to feel young and alive and beautiful.  i wanted to appreciate being in the world.

afterward, i bought myself a new tube of lipstick.  hot pink.  a celebration of life and vitality; an honoring of our shared brevity and a recognition of the fact that life is too short to not live boldly. that's what lipstick symbolizes for me.  when my mother was feeling sad, she'd go to the drugstore and buy herself a new tube of lipstick. 


i wish she were here.

i wish she could see me.

i wish she could see what i've accomplished in the last four years and how far i've come.

i wish she could see the portrait i drew of her.

i wish she could meet Brian and hear him sing.

i wish i could talk to her.

i wish i could just talk to her.


i feel very alone in this big world sometimes.  it makes me want to run from people i love because i'm afraid of losing them too.  i didn't realize that i have this fear until recently...  that i would rather push people away and keep them at a distance than get close and deal with losing them.  there is a part of me that somehow believes that everyone i love is going to go away.  i know that isn't true but it's my little girl voice speaking.  it's the little girl in me that still believes i'll never be good enough...  that somehow i'm unlovable and i'll never belong anywhere...  and i don't have a mama to run to to scratch my back and tell me otherwise.

but i have a lover who loves me.
i have friends that love me.
i have a brother and a sister who love me and know exactly what i'm talking about when i say the things that make other people too sad or too scared or too uncomfortable to keep listening. brian too.  he has cried with me and it is such a comfort to me.  it means i wasn't wrong or crazy for wanting to cry about the bad things that have happened.  it means things really were that bad and i perceived it all correctly.  it means i should've never been made to feel ashamed in the moments when i did cry.

and i have Vermont and the awakening that happened there:

my sister pointed out to me how pronounced it was that i quit drawing after our mother's death.  instantly.  i dove headlong into my crochet practice.  it was such a powerful thing to stand alone in my huge studio that night in Johnson, VT and draw her portrait.  our portrait.  it unlocked the floodgates and drawing after drawing spilled out of me after that.  a big part of myself healed.

today, i made a small linocut of an iceberg.  i stamped it out 20 times.  the iceberg is a strange sort of metaphor for me, a self-portrait of mine.  the iceberg is the middle child. 

there are still so many secrets
but i am finding ways to tell them. 
i am finding roads out of silence.
i am finding roads toward courage.
i am more myself than i have ever been and, despite the brutality of her loss, my mother's death worked to teach me how absolutely imperative it is that i BE MYSELF, that i live honestly and bravely, that i keep putting one foot in front of the other, that i must will myself to be undaunted and to build the life i want for myself.  her death taught me that there isn't always going to be another Tomorrow.  if there is something one NEEDS to do, it's best to do it now. 


my mother used to wear a lipstick named Yummy Plummy.  i stole it from the bathroom the day she died.  it's in my makeup bag.  i never wore lipstick before she died.  now, i twist the hot pink bar of my new lipstick and paint my mouth and allow myself to languish for a moment in the pleasure of being alive.


Jan 7, 2015

with spit and a needle


destroyed self portrait
photo of a photo
angela simione, 2014

Jan 5, 2015

the march goes on


oakland, ca
angela simione,  january 2015

this image and this text gains potency in these times of brutality.  the imperative to keep making this work, to keep making these marks, to always have a big black marker at the ready, grows and grows.


Dec 22, 2014



we lay silently under the string of lavender lights strung across the wall above the bed, pathetic and still.  we are both sick.  sick as dogs, angry and miserable inside out atoms.  we lay together and treat each others bodies with the gentleness we routinely refuse our own.  stroking hair and testing foreheads and cheeks for too much warmth.  i kiss his shoulder rather than his lips.  enough damage has already been done.  swaddled in deep grey blankets, we convalesce.  the timing is bad but not as bad as it might have been.  i should have known some wiley germ would eventually catch up to me.  i lucked out not getting sick while on my trip and i am thankful for that.  it would've been awful to spend time stuck in bed rather than drawing against the tall, white walls in my huge, beautiful studio or singing karaoke at the pizza parlor/bar.  still, this misery is miserable.  such a waste of life to be sick.  time slips and fails.  i guzzle more NyQuil and hope that tomorrow all will be well within my body again and that the impetuous rhythm of waiting tables and making art will resume with as much fury as (more fury than) it had before.

i roll over and his hand finds my back.  he rubs me gently as i lay with my eyes closed against the pressure in my sinuses despite his own discomfort.  i marvel at this.  his kindness.  a moment of total pleasure inside this stubborn illness.  i marvel at him.

his hand stops and i roll the other way.  i want to see his face. 

every night, his face is the last thing i see and i want it to go on being that way. 


Dec 5, 2014

we two


last night, we looked at the dark, wet streets together and he said, "i'll miss how beautiful it is here..."

i want to miss it too.