Expectations

Expectations  I wrote them in the silence of intolerance, unfair assumptions  of a girl too concerned and  consumed by the future that she couldn’t live up to her own expectations dictated in passive aggression to the people that care now.

Be kind to yourself.

It’s been a week since I posted a poem on here and I’ve been worried about it. I’m in a state of transition right now, trying to figure out what my future has in store. I’ve been asking a lot of questions lately, mostly boiling down to “what do I want in this life.” And though I can’t answer it in this moment, and though I’ve struggled with writing as a result, I know I need to take my own advice and be kind to myself. If all I have is today, I’m damn well going to grant myself a break and a hug and a smile (and peanut butter).

Be kind to yourself.

–Leanne Rebecca

Party Trick

Party Trick  It was the way he played the guitar,  his eyes closing, savoring the notes like peanut butter cups, pleasure singing in his fingertips licked to perfection in the bliss of the moment.  I noticed how she’d stare, as intoxicated with his passion as he was with that instrument, a recognizable love that softened both their faces, she watching his pleasure in equal measure.  She appreciated his elemental connection, accepted his attention diverted to his potential, chasing what could be, the greater than, the something more that guided his dedication.  He loved that guitar, an infatuation that trumped her presence, his undeniable glory that blinded her from accepting that maybe she deserved someone who’d let her sing along. I’ve been thinking about love lately–if you couldn’t tell from most of the poems decorating the past several months on here–and in thinking about love I’ve been thinking about the “one.” Who is that person that we fall for and why? Why do we rarely end up with the person we grew up describing as our ideal partner? Why does unrequited love exist? You’d think if you feel that strong of a pull towards someone that they’d feel it back. It’s chemistry, right? Pure biology. But for whatever reason, it doesn’t always work that way, but maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason.

This poem goes out to my friend Cameron.

Have a great weekend!

–Leanne Rebecca

 

Stance

Stance  It’s the stance of someone beaten. I don’t need to know the origin of your bruises or why you hunch your shoulders  to deflect eye contact. I hear it in your silence and see it in your hiding, buried beneath pretend apathy, the lies of a fight too fresh to pass the lump in both our throats. I’m not asking you to speak, but beg you to believe we can look west together, comrades of pasts not yet set. We’ve got time to face each other when the sun bleaches the marks on your heart. Writing has been a struggle lately. I spent at least a week and a half incapable of finishing a single poem. I’d start them, sometimes even reaching the second to last line, and then shut my notebook. But this one just happened. I didn’t fight for it or resent it halfway through. It was organic and soothing and I think I know why. I’ve been focusing on me lately, focusing on what I’m feeling and holding on to negativity like a magnet. This poem was a break from that. It’s about someone else and I’m super relieved that something inside me compelled me to reach outside my own brain for inspiration.

Have a great week!

–Leanne Rebecca

 

Tragedy

Tragedy  Morning traffic dictated a lethargic pace. I tailgated the car in front of me as if burning grill marks on his bumper  would increase the speed of moving, could decrease my anxiety— would I make it to work on time?  I veered onto the exit ramp at the first opportunity, crossing a bit of the solid white, zipping around the line stopped on the highway, the other 9-5ers blinking at their windshields, sleepwalkers guzzling coffee and eating granola bars.  The ramp was clear, a straight shot of open road to fly without impasse in the freedom of ignoring speed suggestions. I noticed something to my right  before I hit the intersection: a dead deer, frozen and whole like a stuffed replica. I looked away to my left. Three black trash bags lined the shoulder.Sometimes routine can blind us from what’s happening around us, good or bad. Don’t forget to open your eyes. Write a poem about it if you can.

Happy Thursday!

–Leanne Rebecca

 

Guest Post: Laura Ortbals

I have a fear of becomming stagnant my body atrophies and my life fades away I need to keep moving but I am terrified of where that might take me.

This one is by one of the most amazing women I know: my sister. She posted this poem as a facebook status, but I couldn’t simply let it die as soon as our news feeds updated. She captured an emotion I’m sure we all share in some capacity and that kind of resonance deserves recognition.

Happy Saturday!

–Leanne Rebecca

Under the Radar

Under the Radar  I felt the warning signs welling up like the early symptoms of a head cold— easily ignored. I swallowed the thoughts with each sip of vodka soda which dwindled as the toasts wrapped. To the Bride and Groom.  They cut the cake and had a dance and everyone smiled and some cried as I kept quiet, afraid to speak and erupt with cynicism on this happy occasion, finding respite in the bathroom stall until sickness poured from my eyes, my sickness—my eternal loneliness soiling  the love infested air of a wedding celebration. I ducked outside so no one would see the despair blur my eyeliner like a watercolor painting.  I watched the guests raise glasses through the window, kicking off their shoes, shamelessly indulging in the contagion of glee, the pairs of them, hand in hand with their own brides and grooms of yesterdays and tomorrows while I wept in the darkness of a night’s sky.  They hadn’t seen me leave, who would? I wasn’t tied to that innate buddy system of plus ones, relegated unintentionally invisible,  forgotten amidst kisses and slow dances, biding my time until the glowing couple  skipped into their getaway car and I shuffled back to mine, tired. Thanks for sticking with me. Life’s a journey and sometimes it gets busy, which is why I feel utterly lucky to have this magical thing called writing that lets me dance my way through it without rules. Have a fantastic Monday!

–Leanne Rebecca

 

Adaptable

Adaptable  We ran in the rain even though our shoes squished and hindered,  pounds of excess burden laced around soggy feet as if trudging miniature water tanks below the ankles, trapping our freedom to move with agility, with ease.  We could have called it quits, huddled under a tree  until the torrent dissolved into a drizzle, could have cowered in our car, prissy as teacup dogs afraid to get their paws wet. But we ran, laughing as makeup stung our eyes, rendered blind, black dripping into our vision and pooling below in raccoon masks.  Sure our pace slowed as our intention adapted— just keep moving— but it didn’t matter, just like it doesn’t matter that I had to eat a different kind of cereal this morning, choice robbed by an empty box.  We crossed the finish line together. I don’t feel like this poem belongs to me. It belongs to my mom and my friends. It belongs to you and your struggles. We’re all in this thing called life, living parallel to one another, at times crisscrossing paths as we do our best to navigate the turns. I implore you, don’t lose sight of where you’re headed. Sometimes eating something new for breakfast can be a welcome change. The key is to recognize the opportunity to seize the deliciousness of the moment.

–Leanne Rebecca

 

Too Much

Too Much  They call it Pain Tolerance, measured in a threshold determined by the wearer, a number of fingers you can withstand before two hands shortfall the scale,  a 10 spectrum limit that fails to consider all the categories of this feeling’s complexity.  Am I at a 9 because I’m still breathing?  There’s a numbness beyond comprehension that confuses the brink of my endurance, as if the ache resides in negative space. an inverted sensation, the vast white surrounding the ink blotches  that could explain this intoxication. I changed the last word of this poem at least 6 times, and with each revision, I found new meaning inside my own lines. I implore you to take away your own interpretation. Sure, I wrote the poem, but the meaning is not absolute. What it means to you is just as significant as the reason I wrote it. I write poetry for me, but you read it for you. We’re equals in this process.

Happy Monday!!

–Leanne Rebecca

 

Dissonance

Dissonance It’s sexy- the tension in his voice that infuses each note with dichotomy— masterful but not easeful, as if he’s lamenting inner conflict in gravel-laden imperfection. I’m drawn to the impurity lacing his words like a birth mark—unique to him, a signature interrupting the underlying smoothness of his skin.  It turns me on, the dissonance of his poetry, the fluidity of his screaming, the crying of his passion. I listen again, falling into imagination’s cloud— who is the boy that owns that voice, that aches his story on the radio?

I’ve been on a Ghost Town kick lately. I first discovered the band about a year ago, listened a little, but for whatever reason wasn’t hooked. However a few weeks ago one of my friends made me a playlist with their song “Acid” on it. It’s a track I admittedly repeat over and over again as I’m driving. You could call me obsessed. The vocals draw me in almost like junk food. I just want more!! It got me thinking, what is it about certain songs or certain voices that attract different ears? For me, it’s the grit, the pain behind the sound. I’d always rather listen to something messy that throws emotion in your face than something perfected with stereotypical beauty. We all have our own preferences though, and mine certainly change with the seasons.

Happy Saturday!

–Leanne Rebecca

Are You Ready?

Are You Ready?  She asked the question  in the earnestness of choice, offering me an out despite the unspoken plea traced  in the words hiding behind the weight of decision, my decision to box up my heart --my needs, my fears, my selfishness— and store it on a shelf, collecting dust and waiting.   She explained: you can’t expect anything back, must act without being asked, that’s what it takes, effort,  your effort.  I nodded, a yes flying from my lips  in auto response like an out-of-office email, true and direct, but impersonal, shallow.   She glared into my irises like a lie detector assessing genuine intention. But she didn’t say anything. Did she not see the waver in my thought which screamed in every blink  breaking our locked eye contact? She didn’t say anything, reiterating her faith in me, her compassion to see beyond my flaws, the reason why my mother is the most selfless person I know.      I reach down my throat  and pluck out my feelings. This isn’t about me, I think, but if there’s one reward to this choice it’s becoming more like my mother, my selfish caveat tainting her altruistic purity.

This one’s a bit different. But I wouldn’t be a poet if I didn’t play, right? Thanks for stopping by and as always, have a happy Wednesday!

–Leanne Rebecca

You and Me, Baby

You and Me, Baby  I remember the 5 am day and I hold it with a clenched fist, grasping at 3 am tunes in your car, curling my fingers around the east of being in that moment, you and me, Baby, moonlight driving through the Boston streets.  I feel the memory in my palm and squeeze tightly, holding hands with your imprint in my timeline, a forever history I won’t rewrite.  I remember the 5 am day, the exhilaration of waking life and the turquoise shirt tossed to the backseat. You held me, just as I hold that glimpse of you now, in the lines of my hands, 5 am come and gone and how your face changed  when the sun eventually rose.

A new week, a new day, a new opportunity to read poetry. 

Don’t forget to smile today!

–Leanne Rebecca