25 November 2013

Does This Poem Make Me Look Fat?

insecurity should never be capitalized.
It feels like i never am.
In the lowercase i stay being underwhelmed.

There is no doubt. 
That’s all, that's the ruse.

Cuts deep, oh how it stings. 
Bitterness I taste from within.
Mocking me, Here are your flaws! 
And my fears? You have them all.

16 November 2013

Mount'n Broad

I like it when I am Me.

Joleen Doreen.

It's not easy, with this going here and that going there. Giving so much of yourself to other people that you're left with an empty reserve in the give-a-fuck-tank for yourself. Things begin to slip by the wayside, starting with how you feel about yourself. And then one day you wake up and realize it's been so long since you've gotten laid that you're not even sure if the kids are still calling it "getting laid" and by the time you figure it out you're not in the mood to masurbate anymore.

I've had more knives on my crotch than a post-op tranny. My cooter tried to kill me. It was the best horrible thing that ever happened to me; disease division (non-dead). It changes the way you flirt when the area that you once divined your sexuality from becomes a source of suffering. Every time I experience a flushed giggle I expect a gynecologist to rush in with a speculum to "have a little look."
I don't feel attractive. Probably never have. But you can sure as hell bet that you turn off the possibility of deriving joy from being on nude display after you've had a group of interns tour your twat.

I'm sorry fellas, but "drop your knees" means something different to me.

I guess I can be a little... well, fuck. I don't know what you pussies would call it. "Blunt?" "Overbearing?" Maybe even "crass" or "crude."
I like that one, Crude.
Sounds like a combination of Cunt and Rude.

I gave up beating around the bush. (Obviously. See above.)

Not looking to get a piece of ass every time I turn around made me find pleasure in other things. Which not only enriches life with wonderful new experiences, but also makes it all the more wonderful when you finally do get railed. Here in lies the rub; When you have zero self-esteem and even less confidence, you not for one moment ever think that people are interested in you. And feeling that alienated from social interaction, coupled with an inability to flirt at more than a 3rd grade level, effectively makes me feel as inadequate as I was before my pussy went on a power trip.

And then came mid-thirty-quittryingtoweaselitoutofmeyouassholes-something and all of a sudden I felt like Jenna Jameson on the set of all six hundred Fast & Furious movies. (That's porn, right? Sounds like porn. I don't watch movies that are not Harry Potter. I just assume something called Fast & Furious is porn. I'd never pay to see it, because I get all my porn for free. But it's called This Girl Is Good or Housewife Doesn't Know and stuff. Thanks, RedTube.)

It doesn't take a genius to see that I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about regaining interest in fucking like bunnies. I had become rather adjusted to knowing people from a purely NOT "please touch my boobs" point of view.
And now that's over.
I make lewd suggestions to myself for no reason. My anger can be turned with a wink. I can easily be dissuaded from a strong opinion, for example, by a strong man. Hell, I've been known to drop a good-looking argument for a good-looking girl. My level of creepiness now permeates the air and infects everything I do. You can nearly count on me to make every situation slightly uncomfortable for everyone involved; while nobody else knows why.

All because I remembered that dudes like to fuck.


Sure wish people could see what an expert on gender studies I seem to have become.

07 November 2013

Who, ME?

Do you know me?
You must think you do.
So wrapped in myself that I didn't notice.

Do you know me?
I can't picture it.
Fell further away than I want to care.

Can you still see?
It must be dark there.
Doesn't look like a place where I need to be.

Can you still see?
Remember to ask.
The light isn't that bright at this end either.

Is that what I need?
I haven't a clue.
Who am I to figure out what I wanted.

Is this what I need?
It looks so shiny.
Don't wanna break it like I did the others.

Can I be Joleen?
I want to know how.
But maybe I can try again tomorrow.

Can I be Joleen?
It feels funny.
There is probably no one else I could be.

31 October 2013

We All Scream For Cauliflower

I ain't no damn smarter.
Birthdays are a scam.

So, out and around along the way, I've found a few things to be worthy of my scorn. Like shoes. Don't know why society insists I cover my adorable feet, first of all. But mostly I just plain don't like to wear shoes. If given the choice between hot sand on top of a gravel walkway and putting on a dumb 'ol pair of sneakers, I'm already running away from your foot locker.
Nope, no shoes.
Can't fucking stand 'em.

Footwear fussiness aside, my ire has also recently been aimed at ice cream.
Yep, ice cream.
Don't like it, don't need it, don't want it.
A devious process, freezing milk and feeding it to kids as a treat. And them sorry sunsabitches just eat that junk right up. Chasing after the Ice Cream Man, lapping up the "flavors." I'VE GOT YOUR FLAVOR RIGHT HERE, JUNIOR, AND IT'S COW TIT.

Ima take a minute here, so you can quit sputtering like a dickweed and we can move on.

Shoes and ice cream.
Two of the biggest evils that I am faced with.
There was something else, what was it again?
Oh yes, a tendency for incredibly destructive behavior caused by deeply ingrained insecurity and a side of self-loathing topped with an inability to process emotion or feeling.
But that's a mouthful, so I just call it "being Joleen Doreen."

Look, it's just NOT a snack, ok? You've expunged the fluid from the mammaries of sweet bovine Bessie and covered it in fudge. If you did that to any other mammal, you would be a freak. HOW THEM SPRINKLES TASTE, JUNIOR? A LITTLE LIKE COW TIT?

I hate ice cream.
Cold. Distant. All smug in it's churned-ness.
Ice cream know you want it. It KNOWS. Ice cream is fully aware that you're not going to get that ice cream taste from anywhere else. Whataya gonna do? Eat frozen yogurt? Pfffftttt. Nope, you're going to have ice cream and ICE CREAM KNOWS IT.

Ick. Got all metaphory in here.
Stupid ice cream.
Well, just so you guys know, there are other things out there. It doesn't have to be the arctic incubation of a farm animal's teet. Dessert options are all around us. I've recently found some wonderful new things. Purple cauliflower, for example.
Oh, it's real.

See, hear. (Sea, here? C, ear?)
I may be a little outside the "norm;" and, yes, it may be that I'm not socially "competent." Also, I am not a fan of "people," I don't like "happiness," I have deep "trust" and "commitment" issues, I think "men" are fucking ruining "everything," and I might not know how to use "quotes."
But I understand the things in life that appeal to me are not the same as what others desire. And vice versa.
As with ice creama.
Ice cream just isn't for me. It freezes my brain and wreaks havoc on my guts. And more importantly, it tastes like I'm getting the raw end of a cow's tit. Hell, ever since I was knee-high to a grasshopper I've known a broad who was being milked for your fanciful indulgence.
They should name the flavor after the cow it came from. 
Buttercup's Butterscotch. 
Daisy's Dark Chocolate. 
Soon-to-be-steak's Sinful Cinnamon.

I'm not a vegetable-lover. More just a free-milk-hater. Back home, it was easy to spot who was trying to pay for the cow and who was looking to be handsy just to score an instant treat. Round these parts it seems like every Vinny, Tony, and Donnie is trying to sell you frozen water and call it dessert. Hell, I'm not much on ice cream to begin with, let alone this twisted amalgamation that sweets have become.

Ugh. Brain freeze.

I don't know where I always go so wrong. But I know I'm probably not wearing shoes when it happens.

24 October 2013

18 October 2013

'Nother Year Wiser*

T-minus 4 until my birthday.
I hope there's cake.
I bought a lot of cake.
There's going to be cake.
Cake is the only damn reason I have a birthday.

It's been a long while since my birthday was anything more than the day before my kid's birthday. And before that it was just considered the month before brother Jimmy's birthday. It used to piss me off, but now that I refuse to get any older, I don't mind missing out on a birthday so much. Don't get me wrong, there will still be cake. And probably ice cream. But it's mostly just for the kiddo now. I wish I could freeze her birthdays too. Soon she's going to be as old as me.

Teenagers are awesome. Fifteen is an incredible age. Teaching her to drive a stick shift pickup truck in the city is going to be a real hoot. 

(Is she gone? Ok. This is about as far as the kid would read so we can speak freely now. She mostly skims the middle of the instructions anyway. Did ya'll see all that sarcasm up there? I thought it would start dripping from the letters if those words were any more full of it. Hell, I almost snorted myself to death writing it. Shit, she'll probably start reading again soon, back to it. Good talk.)

I can say, with a good deal of unsarcastic certainty that I am looking forward to the adventure of the next year, as getting this far has been the experience of my life. 'Course, I am a little nervous. She's too damn pretty for me to be comfortable with the city's shotgun ordinance. But she's smart too, so she knows my temper is bigger than the law. (Also the by-line for my Walker, Texas Ranger musical adaptation. My kid's composing the original score.)
Fucking kid anyway. All growing up and shit. There's got to be something I can do to stop that, right? Like an orange peel in hot ginger brandy? Or at least slow it down with a satchel of lavender in the underwear drawer? It's pretty much bullshit that I'm watching her grow up when I don't freaking want to. Ugh.

Despite the injustice of time, I've always loved the fact that her birthday is the day after mine. Like I got the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. Plus, double the cake. 

Life beats the shit out of us all, every damn day.
Can't say it simpler than that.
Sometimes we all need something to bring us back from whatever dark edge we run to when the day gets scary. I've been out there lately. In no-man's land. Wandering around with Aaron Lewis in a very Blue October. (take 5 points a piece if you understood those references.) Lost a good soul and I'm letting grief cloud my opinion of the living. Buncha fucking ungrateful douchebags.
Shaking off the misery ain't so easy when things are heavy on your heart.

So glad am I that I have the sunshine of my night.
Plus, it's our birthday.

I'm trying to grow.. I want to say "up" but I think it's safer to leave it at just "grow." Maybe I'll figure out how to control my emotional reactions this year, now that I'm thirtygrumble-NONEOFYOURFUCKINGBUSINESS!-somethingish.
Hey, it could happen.

Hell at this point I'll settle for a few days of NOT sobbing my eyes out in a work bathroom. That would be swell. Happy Birthday to me!

*Joleen Doreen's Awkward-English Dictionary™ definition. Wiser: abbrev. Short for WiseASSier.

14 October 2013

Please Stop Being Surprised When I Pull Cheese From My Pocket

Above and before but probably not since.
I come from a place where you're only just "his."
Too full of resentment for nothing you did.
There's not much room in there for being a kid.

The past can be tense.

Skipped by tomorrow along my way.
Stopped to wonder where I left today.
Giggled to think it would all be okay.
Gave up thinking I knew what to say.

Perspective is hard to see.

Alight with darkness; watching, waiting.
The lines of laughter slowly fraying.
Coming aboard with the might of the sea,
The understanding that I can be ME.

10 October 2013

Death is a Whore

Dying. Sucks.
I don't care much for Death, so selfish in her agenda. All take and no give, that Angel of Darkness. I met her once, on a dark road in the middle of life. Thankfully I was too drunk to walk all the way to the gates of hell, and Death doesn't seem much for carrying people. Some places you got to get to on your own.

Like a sloppy blowjob, Death sucks. She doesn't seem very logical in her choices. It's how I know Death is a woman. Conclusively and without question. Ain't no way those random decisions are coming from a man. To say nothing of her efficiency. Why, she's been known to wipe out entire species on a whim! Annihilation to that degree feels like female frustration. I've been angry enough to extinct a Neanderthal or two in my time.

Hell, I reckon Death has the intake capability of a twin-turbo. That's a lot of high-pressure suck. (dear gearheads, I KNOW.) Still, just as soon as a thrown rod will ruin your day, Death will knock without warning. (I don't know why I wrote to the gearheads. Everyone knows they can't read*. Please do your part to improve the life of a gearhead by reading them my hilarious puns. It'll get your motor running.)
*(editor's note: my ex-husband informs me that I am wrong. More on how much I don't fucking care as the story develops.) 

Back to you, Death.
Death probably gives road head. But in a Dodge Omni. With hand-crank windows. She only half pays attention because she's trying to program a pop station on the staticy radio. In the end everyone is horny and thinking about the fuckability of former Disney stars. (I'm looking at you, Jimmie Dodd)
S-U-C... See you real soon..
K-&-S... Es a damn shame you died.

It's inevitable, you know. Road head. Happens to everyone. No, I mean death, of course. Doesn't make it any easier to deal with. There's an unbelievable sadness that follows Death around. If she could be any one thing, it would be a Death Cab for Cutie album. On cassette. Stuck in the radio of a teal T-top Camaro. But a mid-80's Camaro. And not even the V8.

Grief is contagious. When you die it spreads to everyone you know.

Death can be sneaky. Sometimes that bitch will snatch someone from your life so fast; the Ninja of the Afterlife. Didn't know you needed to say goodbye so you didn't. Suddenly they're gone and you still don't understand where they went. Death watches you falter from the shadows, having stealthily extracted a tiny pillar from your life.
I must have turned in a hundred circles today, looking at a spot that's empty. It sure is going to be hard to adjust to not having Pockets.

Goodbye feels like bullshit.

06 October 2013

Fall, in love

Growing to die; but don't we all?
It's not like I can resist the fall.
Ablaze with the hue of fiery change,
erased what I knew- emptied the page.

Along the way the wind did blow casting aside the warmth of light.
Breaking a branch by the rattle and chill of the darkest night.
Clinging to life like the hope I feel; holding on with all its might.
Sigh with a gust- Oh! My whimper of disbelief falls out of sight.

Cursed to decay, it seems we are.
"Fuck it," I say, feelings ajar.
The last foliage drops from the tree.
And then my rage falls like a leaf.

04 October 2013

That's Sweet

'Tis that time of year.
When Joleen Doreen gets all giddy.

The air is streaked with wisps of change. The nights get cooler and all my favorite bands release new albums. Books become a thing again; no longer blinded by the summer sun, the eyes can read anew. School is back in session; the need for education only slightly overshadowed by the joy of someone else listening to my teenager's mood swings.
The leaves sway in the breeze, falling ever so slowly to the ground. One by one they fall, each marking a moment passed and thought of not again. The whack of an acorn on the neighbor's car roof; the chatter of the squirrel who I paid to throw nuts at my neighbor's vehicle. Every once in awhile the thud of a crab apple hitting the yellowing grass reminds me of the best of the season yet to come.
And come, they do.
By the bushel.

(refusing a Good Will Hunting reference with all my Affleck might.)

Yes, apples.
Shiny and bright, picked from the trees. Dull and ripe, fell with the leaves. Baskets and baskets of mighty fruit begging to be hauled. Filling my kitchen with the tart smell of the Autumn air, apples cover every inch of my counter. Peeled and cored to naked imperfection; striped bare and sliced to pieces.
In the pot they go.
Boiled with rage and simmered back down.
Bubbles until it stops.

Fragrance so sweet, like the blossom of a million possibilities. With notes of hope and tones of home. Just a hint of drunken antics mixed with a 'lil Hell Yeah. And a whole heap-load of That's Gonna Hurt Tomorrow.

The beauty of Autumn.
I was born in October, you see. As was my daughter, the day after me (Albeit, twenty-some VERY odd years later). The entire month is technically considered "OUR Birthday" from October 1st until the day after, when it's just "the week of Halloween."
Halloween! Another favorite! I'm going to be Harry Potter this year. Tenth year running. Think I'll mix shit up a little and be Harry Potter from the third movie instead of the any of the books. Nobody will see that coming! That's as different as oranges and apples!
Holy shit, Apples!

I'll be jarring it up soon. Fixin' to get about a dozen quarts from this batch. (All ya gotta do is ask, if you know how.) It should keep pretty well over the winter. 190 proof makes a good preservative. I'll need to ration myself. Once October's over the best apples won't be back again until next year. According to my calculations, at the rate I've been drinking, I have enough to last until next week.

Apples. October. Happy Hillbilly.
Too Small, Too Green, Too Soon, and Just Right are this girl's seasons.
And right now is Just Right.

02 October 2013


So full.
The night. The moon. My dreams.
Doubt be the villain who brings about my fears.

So cold.
The frost. Your eyes. My screams.
Decay be the root of my trailing tears.

Picked apart and held aside; a display of emotional color.
How inclined to run and hide; yet I'll have no other?
This is what I have to give; this is my attention.
Why do I choose to live wrapped in apprehension?

So good.
The fruit. The feelings. The fun.
Sprinkled among the weeds of insecurity.

Sow nice.
The hurt. The laugh. The sun.
Funny how a garden can grow in the city.

01 October 2013


Did you hear that?
The high-pitched whining punctuated by hollow sobs?
Sounds like my daughter's childhood is rushing by at incredible speeds; it stops only every here and there to land a kick at my solar plexis. Usually accompanied by a request for money.
There it is again. That cry, ever-so quiet; yet I hear it in every syllable of the words Carnegie School of Music.

Every time I look down my kid has grown up another inch.
I remember all the giggles gone by. Her laughter was a fountain of youth, making me feel vibrant and alive. Her cheeks, so tiny, always flushed red with the excitement of life. Her voice, so small, carried the volume of great things. As a young'in she was made from sugar and spice and everything nice, as a little girl is s'posed to be.
Mostly sugar though.
So much sugar.

I know you heard it that time.
It was faint, but it had the crescendo of fifteen years of forceful yearning to be an adult.

Such a beautiful girl, that daughter of mine.
Wanna buy her?
(editor's note: The kid just informed me that it is apparently not only "illegal" to sell children, but also "creepy" once they are teenagers. Who knew.)
Such a smart beauty, that daughter of mine.
I could really use the money though. To buy back all the lost time that I refuse to let go of. To repay the gift of a glorious child. To afford Carnegie School of Music.


The tiny version of my teenager was pretty damn hilarious. I kind of wish I had her around now, to sit on my lap like a ventriloquist puppet. I could poke her in the ribs to make her say funny things and we could pretend that the day when she was eight inches taller than me would never come.
But alas, now she pronounces words right and gets all snippy when I make her kneel in public. She corrects my gram'er and does fancy math. Hell, last week I caught her singing all the correct lyrics to a pop song like I didn't raise her no better.

If we're really quiet I think we can catch the chorus. It's just a list of things she wants for her birthday but it sounds lyrically expensive.

We used to walk, hand in hand, down Main Street in my tiny hometown. Her in her Nelly t-shirt; me in my self-absorbed bullshit grown-up false sense of importance. She would make up a song for the moment, for EVERY moment, and she would belt it out. One finger in the air, confidence higher than any note she could hit. She would toss her hat in the air and drop to her knees, her passionate ballad to a cheese sandwich barely registering to my inner-directed attention. I hardly heard the 'musmic' I was so focused on the walk.
Oh, I have excuses. You want a couple?
Fuck you.
Read my other blog.

I sure hear it now.
♪cheesey sandwich, I'll never let you go. Nooooo mayonaise♫

Would you pay for that hit single?
No, really, would you?
Because, Carnegie School of Music.
Act now and I'll throw in "I Like To Color" for no extra charge.
There are times when I wish I had been me back then, but that's before I got to be who I am, so I don't know if I would've known who I was and then where would I be? Damn lost, that's who. 
It's just a shame that she didn't know me now back then.
I ain't afraid to say it, the old younger me was a bitch. I had no idea of how to raise a daughter and I did it in the strictest way possible. And then the brother died and I got cancer and moved to a city 200 miles from home all in the same year. It's a pretty safe bet that the period was as "rocky" for my kid as it was "fucked up like a motherfucker" for me. Second grade should be easier than that, I s'pose. When our heads came above water years later we both spent a time figuring out how to walk on land. It took some time to find our footing.
Plus, eleven year olds are assholes.

We finally began singing the same tune. 
It was an Anberlin song. 

When I looked up from myself, there she was, still singing. With a flute. And a flag. And a weird haircut. But how she plays that flute, it so does make you feel harmony. In fact, nearly any instrument she picks up plays a melody from my heart. 
It's almost enough to overlook the ukulele.

We're going to our ninth Anberlin show on her fifteenth birthday. I hope they play that one song where someone else pays for college.
Stupid Carnegie.

29 September 2013


Drinking in the morning is tricky business. If you're not careful you could end up standing in the kitchen at 3pm waiting for a mug of beer to answer your questions. And the 120 Minute IPA takes FOREVER to reply. Only a seasoned third-shifter can pull off a good pre-noon drunk.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yada, yada, yada.
You've been drunk during the day before. Big frickin deal, you think. We're all proud of your impending alcoholism, Joleen Doreen, now move along to the moral of the story.

Joke's on you, asshole, I have no morals.

I used to have them. 
I traded them for lifetime supply of bad decisions.

A large number of bad decisions should be called a gross. My 14-year-old likes to say my life is "Groddy" but I'm certain she does it more to irritate me than as an actual term of measurement. Gross seems more appropriate.
Bulk rate bad decisions at a bargain!
Gross never looked so good!
C'mon down to Joleen Doreen's,
We got 'em by the barrel!

My poor choices have been oak-aged. In that, I grew up in the woods. (Look, it doesn't have to make sense, ok? Don't see me poking holes in your origin story, do you? Just accept the inevitable hillbillying of the moment.)
My judgement is not always sound.
My judgement is sometimes sound.
My judgement has never been sound.
But I never expected it to be, what with the noise in my head and all. I turned it all off once. The racket. The ringing. The static. The silence was more than my creativity could bear. The stillness gave me cancer.

Of all of my flaws, the melody of my mind is the most beautiful.

Feels like inspiration.
Let's do shots!
I poured three. We'll assume that you guys had at least the first two that I just drank. After this, we stop counting. There's no telling who drank what. Nobody likes snitches.

I don't regret much. But when I do, it's a chorus of rioting stupidity. The only thing that can block the rampage of a stubbornness such as mine is a very thick blanket of booze. The alcohol needs to permeate the air of mystery surrounding why I do such dumb fucking things.

Time to throw cat shit out the window, or whatever you flatlanders say.
(editor's note: the daughter informs me that the phrase I'm looking for is "throws caution to the wind." Seems foolish to me. The wind is going to blow that caution right back in your face. Nope. It's definitely better to throw cat shit out the window.) Whatever.
Time to drink.

Sure, it gets rowdy from time to time. But every once in awhile you need to toss back the booze at the asscrack of dawn and let the shitface shine. Every now and then again you gotta get tuned before noon. Here'n there you should slosh'er up with the mornin light. Because how else are you going to forget all the dumb fucking things that drinking got you into the night before? 

And the sober things?
I still ain't ready to talk about those. Those are the ones that we brew our own beverages for. My resistance to making good decisions is 100 proof.
Scratch that, it's 190 proof.
Doing dumb shit is as American as Apple Pie.

28 September 2013


Of all the things I've done- remembering back the years-
of all the days long gone, wasted on my fears. 
Beneath the sky at night, resting on consideration,
waiting for the sight that comes from contemplation. 
Scan the clouds of day, staring down tomorrow;
hearing things I say, buried 'neath the sorrow.

Of all the dreams that fade- driven 'way by morning sun-
of all the choices I've made, to the feelings I've outrun. 
Emotions drown the sound of mocking in my mind;
compassion run aground by the soul left behind. 
The mistakes I make are beautiful, from the other side.
Yet insecurity can be cruel; confidence has died.

Of all the time I've waited- and waited and waited-
of all the self I've hated- and hated and hated. 
Understanding drained, feelings depleted.
Regretfulness gained, disgust completed. 
Bringing hope to start. Falling fast apart.
Hallow is the heart.
Hollow is the heart.

24 September 2013

Apple Butter

I check accomplishments off my list, one by one, as I earn them throughout the day.
  • Wake up
  • Healthy breakfast √ 
  • Don't stab an asshole in the face 

Still early. Don't want to jump the gun on checking off that last one.
Sometimes we have to ask ourselves whether or not we have an angry reason why. We do, you guys. Totally do. Turns out that 90% of the time MY "angry reason why" is what I like to call "other people." Not you. You're obviously cool. I can tell by the way you're reading the hilarious posts on joleendoreen.com. You know what's what.

We were where?
That's right, at why.
And determined it was actually who.
So there's that.

And now here we are.
Back at Why.

It's apple butter season, that's why.
Turning ten pounds of yard work into jars of the sweetest sauce that toast has ever known is enough to make this country girl restore her trust in man. Kissed with the slightest hint of sassafras and cooked to perfection, apple butter breaks down barriers of dissatisfaction in my brain. While the pot of ripe fruit sits and simmers my senses undergo an assault of false content. Happiness swirls around in notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. As a Joleen Doreen, I have no choice but to succomb to the euphoria that erupts from every tiny bubble of the lightly boiling mixture.
The fog of elation is thick during canning season. I try to shake off the jubilation, but it clings like the scent of cooking apples. I could run from it all, but godamit if I don't get blinded by the brilliance of the falling leaves the moment I step out the door.
Optimism is upon me, bearing down with the force of October.

I'll probably die before I figure out how to live.

Like the apples in the pot, I've been reduced to mush. The success of creating a glorious batch of apple butter has clouded my perception of reality. I actually, for a brief moment there, believed things to be right'n good. Through the haze of hopefulness I missed the telltale signs of a bad apple. And it was bitter.
So fucking bitter.
All it takes is one nasty taste to throw you off altogether. Then you're left with a love of nothing you want to swallow, and a whole mouthful of it.

Some things turn out to be so distasteful you want to cut the sorry sum'bitch who is givin' it to you. But alas, it happens, developing a liking for something poison. The lesson here is ya'll need to take a good look at what you're puttin' in your mouth.
And never trust management.

Apple Butter turned out great though.

Love, Joleen Doreen

I know the type you like.
Dangereously damaged.
A sprinkle of instability on a mountain of stubborn strength
Under a blanket of insecurity.

I know the type you like.
Vulnerable to weakness.
Lost upon a sea of doubt aboard a ship of character
Beneath a sky as blue as eyes.

I know the type you like.
Self-destructive creativity.
Walk away from coming back without turning around
Never leaving.

I know the type you like.
It's Me.

08 September 2013


When the trees call home
They blow and billow and cry.
When the leaves fall aground,
among the carnage stands I.
The air swirls crisp.
Warmth- not a wisp.

When the trees call home
They sway and mumble and chatter.
When the branches hang low,
beneath the sad arms I shelter.
Sunlight flashes.
Memory- ashes.

When the trees call home
They shimmy and shake as they sigh.
When the night grows long,
be with them to dance will I.
Daydream- over.
Love, October.

Hard at Work

My Desk.

24 August 2013

Sticky Buns

My butt hates the computer chair. From the back of the crinkled faux leather to the uncomfortable sloped front edge, my ass despises every inch of the unforgiving seat. My feet barely scrape the floor as I swivel from side to side, cursing the sweat pooling beneath my cheeks. The temperature under my posterior must be close to a million degrees. Quite possibly, at this point, the chair and my rear end have melted together. It's a hundred and thirty five million freaking degrees and I have found the scientific point at which complaining becomes an endurance sport.
Sweat is not a lubricant. Not now, not ever. The moisture that accumulates in my asscrack has no other use beyond chapping my cheeks. Powder doesn't help. The person that perpetrated that myth never felt the drench of a good record-breaking hot day; never smelled the stench of a pair of underwear in their thirteenth hour. Converting three pounds of water weight into sweaty sweat causes gushing amounts of bodily fluid to expunge itself from orfices and pores; it streaks through the layers of dirt that lay on my skin, only to collect in a pool of filth and perspiration in the radiating ravine of my derrière. The resulting Eww de Toilette is the same consistency and smell of a semi-firm pile of baby shit.
Go ahead, Powder.
Freshen that up. 


The only sweat that I want to feel is the drops running down my beer bottle into my palm. The only glistening that needs to see the light of day are the beads of perspiration that form on my brow when I'm trying to choose my next drink. The only glaring that I want to see is the sun reflecting from my coconut-lathered legs as I paddle across the cool water.
Complaints bounce off the mountains. You can't hear the bitching of a teenager over the sounds of my contentment. And most importantly, my ass doesn't stick to a kayak seat.

02 August 2013

Seaweed Feet

From up here

it all looks square.

down there?

If ever we were near
a showdown of shadows,
The darkness we should fear
is the one the heart knows.

Above, we rise.
Again, the cries.

Reached through love bent in the middle
wrestled with time, a memory to fade.
You became caught by the riddle.
Like waves upon the mountain shore;
this is man-made.

21 July 2013

Everything Nice

It's illegal to beat other people's children.
Seems unfair, at first. I'm sure everyone has an occasion or two when the obvious solution to a situation would have easily been smacking some little toddler dickwad right upside the ass. (And seriously, let's quit with the charade of the "terrible two's" and call a douche a douche.)
But then comes the time when reason and/or felony charges makes you understand that it would be wrong to beat other people's children. If not for nothing, at least for the reason that it would allow others to beat YOUR children.
And this will not do.
Just as sure as I am about whacking a whistlepig in warm weather, I know for certain I would gut and quarter the first sorry sumbitch that laid a hand on my monkey.
Turns out, they grow out of the douchebag phase. Oh, it takes awhile, but eventually kids end up being pretty fucking cool.
At least mine did.
Sorry if your kid sucks.

All things considered, I still recommend not liking your kid anyway. It's not easy letting them grow up when you like them. Things happen in life, you see. UGLY things. Things that have made us bitter and depressed, unstable and blogging. Things like heartache and pain and that last stupid season of Twin Peaks.
It looks like the only recourse is to continue to nurture the inner asshole in our kids. Build up a good amount of disdain and contempt for them in general. Encourage toolbag behavior to ensure they never become involved in other personal relationships.
It's too late for me.
My kid is, by far, already too awesome to keep other people away. I tried macing people that knocked on the door but the delivery guy was getting angry. Being crazy didn't scare visitors away either; forewarned or followers, they were prepared for my personality.
I am helpless to stop them all from falling in love with my daughter. Hell, I was unable to stop myself. Every drop of emotion I am missing was poured into the kid, and I know she will love them all back.

I implore you now, take a minute to piss off your children. The more they ignore you, the less you will care when they suffer through their first real breakup. Laugh in the face of misery and raise a horrible teenager who has no social skills.
Because you can't shove them back into the little monkey suit once they get out.
I've been trying.

28 June 2013

Fancies Herself a Poet.

Different being.
Stopped seeking.

Once we woke,
oh, how things spoke.


Smartass retort.

16 June 2013

Squirrel Doesn't Taste Bad.

There's nobody you can't bribe with banjos, boobs, or booze. Well, nobody not worth bribing anyway. Where I'm from, hard work can get you far but a nip and a pluck will get you farther. The only thing going any further is a pair of nice boobs in nicer boots. Where I'm from, a girl like that can really rise to the top.
My boots? WOLVERINE!!
Where I'm from?
S'pose you could call it a "tiny rural community." I was raised on a few acres nestled deep in the Appalachian mountains. About 200 miles from any major cities and 100 years back in time from modern society. You need to get lost twice to find my homestead, and the second time should carry a hint of desperation. Of course, once you lose satellite, cell service, and GPS, desperation is pretty much all that's left. As all vestiges of hope have evaporated and your will to live has been replaced by flashbacks of Deliverance, you'll pass by the Waterville General Store and then you're practically home. Only another quick 15 mountain miles or so, but by then you'll be so happy to stand up that you hardly notice the chickens in the front yard.
I can see my red neck from here!
The smell of dinner wafting from the kitchen windows will pull you across the gravel and dirt driveway and into the single story home. The architecture of the century-old train station turned into a family residence will be lost on your senses as you focus on the delicious aromas filling the air. I may point to the old roofing eaves and tell of the lanterns that once hung there, but you'll just politely nod and wonder when we eat. I'll show you the door in the back that opens in two pieces, one at the top and one on the bottom, but I know your heart won't be into the Shining Times Station reenactment. It's hard to concentrate on dialogue when your stomach grumbles over the lines. 
Eventually we'll land in the epicenter of the house, the kitchen. When Mom gutted the train station to rebuild the house that she wanted (on the inside) she put the kitchen right smack in the center. From her place at her tiny formica table next to the stove, Mom could see into every room and monitor every door. Mom's gleaming white table was the exact distance from every exit of the house. Nary a mouse could cross the threshold without catching Mom's eye. Granted, she didn't do a damn thing when she saw the mouse, but he sure as shit did not go unnoticed.
Even though she had no idea we were coming, dinner is almost ready and Mom says we hafta wash up. I wouldn't piss her off about it either, that fry pan is the same one she used to beat the kids with. 
Most cast iron is seasoned with tears of country children.
Mom makes a killer fried chicken. She says the secret is in the flour and breading process but I think it's the gentle way she breaks their necks. She serves the juicy fried tenders with slow-simmered bourbon-brown sugar barbeque sauce, or just a nice fresh homemade ketchup if you prefer. I'm having mine with Rose Jelly. 
Cleaning your hands with the hose out back is just easier, it comes up faster from the well to that pump anyway. I imagine paying $2 for a bottle of water is going to feel pretty fucking ridiculous once you drink the best water ever right from your hands. 
Don't let the dog hump your leg. He gets excited over the hose.
Every vegetable on the table was grown out back. Mom has been planting her groceries all the years I've been alive. I didn't know food could be delivered until I was well into my teens. And then Domino's ruined it for me. I'll take Mom's hand-picked tomatoes and oregano on toast any day over crap-ass chain store "pizza." Our sauce is ALWAYS homemade around these parts, Papa John. And I know the guy that hand-slaughtered the pig for Canadian bacon. Mmmm. Bloody fresh.
This guy is here to lighten the mood. Don't get queasy on me now, I'll stop talking about butchering soon, I promise.
Hell, everything where I'm from is made from scratch. The age-old traditions of making food and booze are passed from generation to generation just as abundantly as these blue eyes. Good luck convincing me that store-bought cottage cheese and apple butter aren't poison. 
Culinary is not the only hillbilly art. Mom made my prom gown, watched me graduate high school, sewed the military patches on my BDU's, was there when I delivered my baby, and helped me make my wedding gown. In that fucking order too, haters. She sat beside me through years of bad health, knitting the entire time. I would be not surprised if she had turned hospital equipment into storage for leftover food. OTHER PEOPLE'S leftover food. She made slippers for my feet and hats for my bald head. She brought me aloe from her yard and spearmint from her windowsill.
Mom raised chickens and children and collected chainsaws and ex-husbands. She taught me how hard it is to be soft; I'd still rather be tough than easy. It's not pretty raising five kids in the poor mountains of Appalachia. I may not talk fancy like the city-folk I live near now, but I can throw a frog twenty yards and cut and stack a cord of wood faster than any of my brothers or sisters. I can also rebuild a small-block engine, shingle a roof, clean the creosote from a wood furnace, field-quarter a deer, smoke cheese, deliver kittens, drop a tree, clean a Glock, milk a goat, drive an 18-wheeler, shear a rabbit, drink a case of beer, make sausage gravy and biscuits from scratch, embroider, play the banjo, and brew my own beverages.
Recommended daily amount of fruit and grain.

I've lived in the city for nearly a decade. That's ten very long years that my neighbors have tolerated the sound of a banjo while things were being pickled. There are more plants growing on my deck than most city-folk see in a year. They would develop an allergy to vegetables so fresh. 
I spend many weekends in my stick-shift pickup truck, heading for the closest rendezvous I can find with the Appalachian Trail. When my feet touch the earth and I look up at the sun between the leaves, I feel home. I walk for hours along the dense woods, up and down and over and through. The sparse slices of the colored blazes leads me along and I grow calm as the forest riots around me. I remember moments of my youth; my mother's laugh, my brother's jiggly-belly dance. Occasionally, I tell a joke to the wilderness.
Knock, Knock.
Who's There?
Squirrels who?
Squirrels just wanna have fun!

The trees are prone to giggle at my stand-up.
Joleen Doreen is a mountain-grown specialty.

It pains me to raise a daughter as a city girl when I am so obviously country. I'm not even stereotypical country, I'm go'damn hillbilly country. *spits tobacco juice on own foot*
I'd like to teach my daughter a lot of things, I'm just not sure if I have the patience that my mother didn't have either. I definitely don't have the cast iron fry pan. And non-stick bends when used as an ass-paddle. I bet Mom wished she had her own website back in the day. The amount of inner peace that writing provides is a lifesaver at times. 
Take now, for example.
I've compiled this entire post while waiting for my kid to kill a tiny spider with a napkin. The first twenty minutes were spent squealing, so it's a wonder I got any writing done at all.
I didn't even ask her to save the carcass.

12 June 2013

Rhymes with Spoon

Dont Be So Dramatic

 blindly grasping,
under the gaze.
Stern. Neat.
(words on the page)
Expectations growing,
passion’s ablaze.
Swollen. Defeat.

This is my rage.

Joleen Doreen, Joleen Doreen

I've been Joleen Doreen for as long as I can remember. My mother called me that the first time we met, and she never once stopped. It caught on after a while, and sure enough, before I knew what was happening all five of my brothers and sisters were calling me Joleen Doreen too. Dad held out til I was about four. Probably wanted to see if I was staying or not first.
It never seemed strange to me that my name is Joleen Doreen. It feels like a song. Being graced with a name such as mine virtually guarantees being bombarded with lyrical outbursts. A Joleen Doreen must be ready at all times to carry a tune or dazzle onlookers with a glorious dance number. In fact, I've prepared a small number in which I earnestly declare how ready I am...
...but alas, no time here. 
So much to do, with the introductions and the small talk and the background and the foreshadowing. To save energy I've condensed everything into this brief statement:
I am Joleen Doreen.
I'll be here all week.
I did not know that this was where I needed to be, but I suppose the best place for a Joleen Doreen IS at joleendoreen.com (tell your friends). It took some time to find the place, it was hidden behind heaps of self-doubt and piles of low confidence. But now that I'm here, it feels like home.
Just a few rules before we get started.
  • I am in charge.
  • It DOES SO have my name on it.
  • Monkeys are cooler than you.
  • I'm not taking my shirt off.
  • Drink.
  • Play Freebird!
  • No Stairway.
  • No elevators.
  • Every third paragraph ends with a chorus of "Jolene" (Dolly or Ray, singer's choice)
Your pitch needs work.
And add more shoulder shake to the next songbreak.

I've written many things over the three and a half decades that I've been able to make observations. My first published piece was a scathing exposé on the gender-biased snack practices witnessed in mother's cupboards. It was an under-the-table job. I remember proudly first seeing my words in print, the gleaming crayola a stark contrast to the white wall of the oppressive kitchen.
Still mad I didn't get a Pulitzer.
But by then I was hooked on phonics. The written word, the spoken word, the lyrical word, the word to your mother; I loved them all. I made up words and used words to make things up. I penned stories of monsters and mobsters; I growled out tales of wizards and woe. And that was just last week on the toilet.
Research into my childhood has produced notebooks and journals full of pointless drivel about horses; nothing but the incoherent ramblings of a child. What a waste of research! I then tried to read the writings of my teenage years. I immediately grew a nose-ring and my skin formed an odd flannel-type rash. Also, all the hair fell out of one side of my head and grew only in front of my eyes while all my clothes turned black. Weirdest damn thing. It's like I was Pearl Jammed.

I'm better on paper.
Always have been. It's not just because of editing, although that certainly would be nice to have in real life. I'd cut and paste the hell out of some of you sorry sonsabitches. Plus, I don't read the shit I write enough to edit it anyway. It's because words say the things that I don't know how to. 
Words, gathered together, huddled in a group. 
Letters holding hands, vowels of silence bonding meaning to sound.
The power of the written word gives me hope. Hell, It only took seven letters of the alphabet mixed with a little circumstance to create Joleen Doreen.
Any hint of auburn in my hair is a direct result of the cocaine flame in my bloodstream.

For the sake of nostalgia, let's all add an Eddie Vedder warble to this chorus, shall we? (Don't forget to shoulder shake)

My vagina tried to kill me.
It was awful.
I had a lot to say about it. And I wasn't very shy. It's a strange hat to wear, survivorship. I'm dealing with that on a very private level, and it's an adjustment. It is difficult to bitch and moan about hard I have it being healthy and well, and I am not apt to make that struggle public. On the other hand, I have greatly missed the joy of writing that I rediscovered with the Killer Cooter.

In the year that has passed I have written a number of short stories, some poetry, a moonshine recipe or two, a letter to your mom, a few social commentary editorials, and a number of smartly-worded Amazon product reviews. I knew these were obviously things that people NEED to read, why else would I have written them?
I needed someplace to showcase my brilliance!
Someone suggested that joleendoreen.com was out there, biding its time in the interweb world until I was ready. BUT AM I READY, I asked? And nobody answered, because I had not put it online yet. Still, I could not stop writing. More and more words spewed from my hands, pushed from my head. Half autobiographical, half nonsensical magic; all Joleen Doreen.

When I looked up from my writing, here I was; an entire website of my own. And would you believe that people actually read this shit? I never usta would think that little ol' Joleen Doreen, an itty-bitty hillbilly in the city, would end up here, at joleendoreen.com. To be honest, I only started a website because I ran out of room in my composition book.
Yesterday was a long day.
I thought mom was contractually obligated to encourage me. Turns out she must have bribed a fair few of you as well. So here is where I am write. And wrong. And we'll dance. So sing along.

Last chorus is all Dolly. SHOULDER SHAKE!