All I Wanted

All I Wanted  I said it all through silence. Wrote it— everything I wanted to purge dumped on the page in stream of consciousness, all I wanted yanked out of my head, said in the quiescence of introspection and closed into the pages of yesterday, burned into history, never spoken, saying more in the silence of my secrets than if I’d let impulse  escape the confines of my notebook.   You’ll never know all that I wanted to tell you but maybe that’s better.

True stories. Also, listen to Paramore’s “All I Wanted” and scream along.

Sweet dreams!

–Leanne Rebecca

This Heart

This Heart  She wrote her heart into a notebook, writing the beat in her secrets, infusing the lines with jagged tears, the breaks and palpitations of falling with no one to catch you.   She hoped her heart would find a home in the pages, hugged by memories cast into words and stored on a shelf.  But her heart refused to live only in ink, rebelling in her chest, punching at her lungs and demanding a voice more profound than poetry, screaming in severe chest pains for love.

This poem is inspired by “Before You Start Your Day” by Twenty One Pilots. It’s one of their most melancholy songs and brings me to tears just about every time I hear it. I listened to it on repeat as I wrote this poem. It requires deep introspection, allowing yourself to really feel what’s going on inside. This poem was hard to write but sometimes those are the most important ones to get out.

Sleep well, my friends.

–Leanne Rebecca

When It Happens

When It Happens  My first reaction was to feel flattered, hearing only the whispered words you look hot in those tight jeans.  I said thanks and went back to my desk, toggling my mouse to wake up the screen as the revulsion set in, not sure what I’d say the next time we ran into each other in the hallway.  I wanted to pull my head and arms into my sweatshirt and hang out for a few minutes, rendered untouchable, invisible from eyes twice my age with ignorant wives.   Instead I continued working on the report I’d started before lunch.

My Saturday morning poems are usually my favorite, not because I think they are at all superior to my other ones, but because I love starting my weekend with “me” time. This week was a mess of ups and downs. I tested friendships, rekindled others, and rode the doubt-confidence spectrum. So taking a few minutes this morning to think through everything I’d survived in the past few days was blissful.

I have a Spotify playlist blasting and everything I need to make today a good memory tomorrow.

Have an epic weekend!

–Leanne Rebecca

Naked

Naked  I stumble to the full length mirror on the closet, squinting through the sleep still in my eyes not yet adjusted to the artificial light, abrasive and unforgiving.  I lift my shirt to assess yesterday’s damages, exposing the angles of manipulation to the judgment looking back, sucking it in from all sides, strategizing an outfit to minimize the lumps, a necklace to draw the eyes up, applying concealer to the body like I would a blemish, bathed in the makeup of a wardrobe.

I’d be hypocritical if I told you not to look critically at yourself. After all, I write poems that explore the complexities of who I am–the good, the bad, the perplexing, the mundane, and the ridiculous. I write to understand why sometimes I struggle with certain emotions and other times I can brush them off. I write to know more about myself, looking critically at the dark corners of my brain. I dive deep, drawing out secrets that hurt or burdens that tug down at my shoulders. I find this kind of analysis scary, but cathartic.

I know who I am and refuse to change. I’m stubborn like that.

All this being said, I also caution this critique of yourself, especially when it crosses into physical appearance. It’s always good to strive for something. It is never good to torture yourself in the process. I promise, you’re more beautiful than you know.

Tell me which aspects of yourself that you are head over heels in love with. I absolutely adore my sarcasm. I smile at my gift for all things random. I love that I can totally rock bedhead.

–Leanne Rebecca

The True Orchid

The True Orchid  I walked right past it the first time— hidden behind the ones  begging for eyes like supermodels, asking for attention in the spotlight.   The plaque at the entrance of the exhibit talked about the rarities of these flowers, but as I moseyed through by myself I felt underwhelmed.  It was only on my second time around the room, that I caught the hint of pink peeking out from behind a white array, an interruption of the purity surrounding.  I stopped walking, wishing I could step off the path and get a closer look at the most intriguing orchid in the room, the one hiding its splendor, the one that so many people missed.

I don’t often write about flowers. Though I love nature, I never feel particularly inspired by it. However, there was something about this experience today that grabbed me. It was as if the hiding orchid had an emotion, or at least scratched at the emotions I was feeling in that moment. I’m still not even sure what that flower looked like, recessed off the pathway, but by far it was my favorite one today.

If you’re wondering, the exhibit is at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis. It’s a beautiful and historically significant place that I highly recommend you visit.

Good night lovelies!

–Leanne Rebecca

Roommates

Roommates  Every time I blow dry my hair I think of you, us sitting on the floor on opposite sides of the dorm because the outlets were under our desks. Remember how we didn’t vacuum the entire first semester and that place where the baseboards meet the carpet was caked with errant strands, a second carpet on top of the shitty stuff already there.  I still use the same dryer six years later, the same $18 pink one with the retractable cord.  I think I told you this but I always thought your hair was gorgeous, the type of hair that had an essence, that reflected the type of person you are, carefree and beautiful with hints of originality, like how you’d wear it in a loose knot on the top of your head. I swear you were the one that started that trend.  I remember how you never brushed it, just combed through with your hands and how I stole the practice for three years after that, convinced that if I ripped through the knots  with the claws of a brush that I’d do more damage than good. Mostly I just wanted to be like you.

Hopelessly nostalgic tonight. This one’s for one of my favorite people in this world.

Sleep well my friends!

–Leanne Rebecca

Those Eyes

Those Eyes  The eyes in the picture smoldered in more dimensions  than the photograph’s possibility, beckoning like portals to another story that danced on the other side of the visible world.   She didn’t grant many people the opportunity to jump through her mysteries preferring to keep her oceans obscure, offering only flash glances, enticing them to want to know what lived beyond, to understand why she chose  to not put mascara on her bottom lashes that day.

Today is my 2 year anniversary of this ol’ blog. It’s strange to go back and look and some of the old posts and remember where I was emotionally when I wrote those poems. Sometimes I’m in awe that I even wrote them. Actually, I was going through a tough time when I started She’s in Prison. My struggle was the catalyst of finding an outlet. I fear looking into that past and remembering that dark place. But, I guess that dark place inspired something pretty great. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished on here and I thank all of you so much for sticking with me through it all.

–Leanne Rebecca

Black Hole

Black Hole  What do you write about  when you’re listening to songs about love the week before Valentine’s day, holding on to how breathtaking the sunset was yesterday as the melancholy of another year is settling into the cracks of your skin?  You can’t, because you can’t describe the way it feels, that numbness in your chest, that buzzing of nothingness that hums like florescent lights, tinting the surroundings a little sickly, a green and yellow hue that accentuates the purple veins in your skin, the only proof there’s blood still flowing, that you’re not invisible.  You listen to the acoustic melodies  of someone else’s beating heart and pretend it doesn’t bother you that no one’s ever told you they love you.

I couldn’t sleep last night. My brain raced and raced and finally at 6 am I decided to just get up and shower. Isn’t it strange how sometimes the things we want the most we just can’t have. I just wanted to sleep in on a Saturday, but some force out there in the universe had a different plan.

–Leanne Rebecca

Eyelash

Eyelash  I make the same wish on every errant eyelash. I peel the escapee from my cheek and capture it on the tip of my finger, think my dream in the capsule of a blink, pucker my lips and let a single wisp of air carry it into infinity.  I inhale reality when I look back in the mirror— one less eyelash to cover with mascara.

I’ve started writing in a diary. I’ve found I like the senseless entries, writing whatever comes to my mind, confessing secrets, knowing no one is ever going to read these words (hopefully). One of my favorite teachers back in college used to tell us to write for 15 minutes a day, no matter what it was. The whole point was to develop the discipline to write. I used to write lists of what I did that day or complain about my homework. But then I finished that class and the journal entries stopped.

About two months ago I started them again, maybe not every single day, but whenever I feel like it. This poem is inspired by what I wrote in my journal today during my lunch break, scribbles about it being February and how it’s the month of love. It provoked a particular memory, something profound that happened to me in a February past, and before I knew it, I’d written this poem.

What do you think of when you think of February?

–Leanne Rebecca

Pursuit

Pursuit  I would have killed myself long ago if I hadn’t found this purpose to feel, admitting the air coming in, even though it burned like salt on a cracked lip.  The sting on my flesh faded, but the memory of sensation remained. I never want to forget what it feels like to feel because numbness freezes the lungs useless.  The pursuit of you inundated my airway with water, rendering breathing that much harder, but at least my chest was moving, at least I felt like part of the living.

It’s strange what can inspire a poem. For me it could be a song or an emotion or a chair sitting in the corner of a room. Today it was the word pursuit. I saw it in a poem I was reading and something sparked inside me. I knew that word had a poem of its own that I needed to get out. So I typed it at the top of my Word doc and without knowing what would flow, I began to type.

I don’t say it enough, but I really do love you guys. Thanks always for reading my unfiltered verse.

–Leanne Rebecca

About This I Am Right

About This I am Right  I knead my thumb into my palm, pausing at each callus,  the evidence of effort, the roughness of imperfections, of making a fool of myself in trying.   My hands aren’t soft, they bleed in the cold air, they sting against my tears, they tire, they fail and the holding on hurts more.   My hands aren’t soft,  and the calluses scrape, but if you let me let go, I promise you’re making a mistake. Of this I am right.

There are some poems that hurt to write. I read through them and exhale. This one hurt, but I remember they’re just words and I’m stronger than their verse.

–Leanne Rebecca

Solo Dining

Solo Dining  I’m counting the droplets as they accumulate on the other side of this window.  I shiver, too aware of the chill trapped in the glass, drinking my water too quickly  without pause of conversation. I’ve already been to the bathroom once, lugged all my stuff with me—purse, coat, phone— uncertain if I could trust its loneliness at the empty table.  I’m pretty sure they had sex last night.   My server tells me she remembers me from last time, it’s the side of peanut butter, my signature.  She says she admires the solo dining. I chuckle, an utterance infused with amusement and lies, wondering when I got so used to eating alone.   I lay my napkin across my lap, adhering to the good graces of decorum, even though no one is here to care if I pull the pieces of my French toast apart with my hands or if I lick my fingers or that I dragged my bracelet through my maple syrup, pulling a trail of sticky across the table or that I used my spit to shine up the charm again.   I know they had sex last night.  She’s in his bed now, a morning cuddle.   My server asks if she can get me anything else. A shot of whiskey, I think.  She fills up my water before bringing the bill. I’ve sucked it dry by the time I sign the receipt.

The weather’s bringing me down today. Side note: I’m also obsessed with this FOB song.

This is usually the moment I tell you to make the most of the rest of your weekend, but that would be hypocritical as I’m currently sitting on a couch in the dark basement of my parents’ house. At least I’m listening to pop punk.

–Leanne Rebecca

To Have You

To Have You  I swallow nostalgia with the mucus building up in the back of my throat, a ball of what once was scratching as if I’d tried to take a pill without water.  Behind every blink I see flashes of friendship, come and gone, the days when I never feared lonely afternoons, when tomorrow was a hopeful word, when I didn’t want to run from today and expunge yesterdays  with a worn out pencil eraser, a smeared memory not quite deleted.  Those were the days of club dancing, sleeping until noon, pajama parties and vodka, when none of us really cared that we didn’t have boyfriends because we had each other.  I swallow the nostalgia, the distance of our cities stuck at the back of my throat, a lump growing like a tumor as we get older and farther away from the days of not caring that we don’t have boyfriends.

Today is one of the rare afternoons on a weekday that I have nothing to do. It’s in those times that I tend to think too much, thinking about every aspect of my life, and not in a healthy way. I have a habit of looking too closely at the minutes of a day, wondering too much about why I’m doing what I’m doing and making a list of all the things that are missing. I envy the people that live so carefree, loving the moment and embracing alone time with love. I wonder if they’re acting.

I hope you catch some sunshine today!

–Leanne Rebecca