Tag Archives: abandonment

I WILL KEEP DANCING: Grace. Happy Mother’s Day to my little boy.


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2014 in Review: Saints and Sinners (janice j. cunningham)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,600 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Do you like art and the creative process? Does the “eccentric” life of the “typical” artist intrigue you? Scare you? Amuse you? Inspire you? Read on…

Allo allo!

I would like to cordially invite you to join my ARTISTS’ group on Facebook:


It is a private, invitation-only group,  but if you request membership, an admin will approve you as long as you’re not a bot.

Not only do I post my own work and artistic musings, as well as upcoming shows and #contemporary #art news, but I have SO MANY uber-talented friends worldwide, whose work I love to share with the public every day.

You could be one of them! All art is the soul, ergo beautiful.

So far the group has almost 4k  (!!! — so grateful) members, so if you would like to either be a voyeur or an exhibitionist, please be my guest.

To me, my readers and followers are all VIPs.

Try it out and see if you like it…you can always leave! Ain’t no Hotel California, lol…

Feel free to also follow me on #Twittter: @jjgrape.

(I heretofore take no responsibility for any profanities or insanities contained therein. Twitter is fun! No rules. Just what we painters like best.)  😀

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OPHELIA SWIMS. 2013. Oil, gold leaf, tears, and poppy dust on wood. 18x24

It’s my happy place — besides the library, the easel, or in front of my iMac. 🙂

Above are a few samplings of my paintings, but this group is dedicated to sharing the work of my many artist friends from all around the globe: a virtual #gallery of sorts! What fun.

(But it is strictly bring your own wine and cheese… 😦  Sincere apologies. Hehe.)



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To be able to feel others’ feelings

as your own

in this odd world , quite frankly,

 is no party.

A demise born into, most certainly not chosen.

i am a human pin cushion,

 far too-easily bruised.

Bananas? Perhaps.

But, I am so sorry, sir:

  Yes, we have no bananas. We have no bananas…

Talking to no one today,
i take refuge in my stacks of books and
jars of paintbrushes

tubes of paint are loyal friends.

i will go running after dark
to a chorus of peepers
under the moon,


i will paint my life a different color
if i want to,
because i need to.

people  hurt,

like hot pebbles on August asphalt,
stuck in skinned knees

or a tiny shard of
a broken wine glass,


stepped on,
barefoot and inebriated

— so in love you don’t notice

 until  bloody footprints

  dance around your flat

in all their crimson splendor.

Love leaves.

Blood stains,


and souls.

This pain can be ignored or deflected,
i choose to use it
as fuel.

Do not play with fire
unless you enjoy

a gentle admonition delivered

with piercing eyes.

Do as thou wilt,
is the whole of The Law–

but harm none.

JJC   9.14

OPHELIA SWIMS. 2013. Oil, gold leaf, tears, and poppy dust on wood. 18×24


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…and if you’re homesick, give me your hand, and I’ll hold it.




“and if you’re homesick
give me your hand
and i’ll hold it...”

Birdy“People Help the People”

SYLVIA PLATH – Mad Girl’s Love Song. (Set to her poem ARIEL.)

janice j. cunningham


Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees!–The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Berries cast dark

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,
Something else

Hauls me through air—-
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

Godiva, I unpeel—-
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
The child’s cry

Melts in the wall.
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies,
Suicidal, at one with the drive
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.

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Filed under cool stuff, diary, duality, dysfunction, enlightenment/spirit, existentialism, imperfection, life, love, mental illness, MUSIKKKKK, people, poetry, sadness, saints, sinners, and angels, Uncategorized

Song To Say Goodbye

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July 14, 2014 · 9:13 am

A Poem for Papa (教皇的一首诗)

To honor single mothers everywhere who CHOSE LIFE:

A Poem for Papa (教皇的一首诗).

Your little one says, “Thanks, Mama.”

Happy Mother’s Day.


A single mom sans child. ❤


Filed under art, children, diary, duality, enlightenment/spirit, existentialism, life, love

BAG OF BROKEN DREAMS. (Subway series) 2003. Gouache/ink on stock. 5×8.

BAG OF BROKEN DREAMS. (Subway series) 2008. Gouache/ink on stock. 5x8.

One of many sketches-turned-paintings inspired by the subway in NYC. It’s a hard place to feel sorry for yourself…so many in need.

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April 13, 2014 · 8:06 pm

A Poem for Papa (教皇的一首诗)


Four years ago
you left for work.
It was a humid early summer day
in the spring New York City swelter.

Leaning nonchalantly in the doorway,
you said, “Later,”
like nothing doing,
and turned for the stairs.

No kiss goodbye, not even a glance
in my direction.
I leaned out after you, and called down the
creaking stairwell
to tell you
not to bother returning.

You did not.

This was smart, for me.
Maybe the wisest words ever
hastily spoken.

Since you had no problem with
helping me spend me my money or
using my body in bed,
losing you was a gift,
in retrospect.

Three years ago
I gave birth to your son.
Alone, in the dead cement of NYC winter,
I welcomed a new human being into this
Only two Franciscan nuns sat in the
otherwise empty hospital room
as i suckled at my breast
the child you have not even
sent one birthday gift to.

No flowers from Daddy arrived,
not even a card or cheap chocolates…
only a pathetic
and rude text message, something
about a paternity test.
Called me “Baby Momma”,

I remember the sound the phone made as it
hit the cold tile floor.
Its screen shattered.
The baby began to cry.
So did I.

Your son met you, once
and was in my arms when
you, once again and years later,
brought me to tears.
He talks about it
to this day.

“Daddy mean at Mommy. Mama cried.
Daddy mean.
Are you happy,mama?
Be happy, Mama!”

They remember everything, the
little ones. Like
elephants in miniature,
they never forget. For you, my
ex-lover, this
is a lifelong liability.

Your son speaks of you
rarely now,
except to mention in passing
that your favorite color is yellow.

Two words: good bye —
from me to you,
were the wisest words
i have ever spoken.
I will say them now and
i will say them again.

Like a leaf, fallen haplessly
from the massive oak
over our little home,
your memory
lies, dried out and faded
in the driveway of my mind.



Welcome to the world, little one. Three days old, William James.

i love you i love you i love you my son.

just born

The view from my hospital bed at St Luke’s Roosevelt at dawn. WIlliam was 2 hours old. 2.09.09.

And I would do it all again.

good bye, baby daddy. where my face was, there is ether.

the closest i will ever get to you again. Only to say goodbye…to your countenance on a piece of canvas.

Janice J. Cunningham 7.04.12. Cleveland, Ohio


Filed under children, diary, life, sadness