Primal Fear

Primal Fear  More likely he was enjoying the weather, or stargazing or waiting for a friend to pick him up or contemplating crickets than anticipating a young woman  getting out of her car at night, lingering on the corner between  where she parked her car and her apartment, watching as her grip fastened tighter to her purse, sensing her heart freeze in the distrust of a man standing as still  as a lion tracking an antelope before the kill.  Get inside Get inside Get inside, she chanted in hushed urgency, succumbed to instinct's anxiety, peripheral vision locked on his posture, eyes pinned to the doorknob, imagination planning the scream that would come next.  He made no move to harm her. Yet her pulse fired as she crossed the threshold into safety, assuming a lurking lion is always hungry.   —Leanne Rebecca

It’s amazing how quickly adrenaline can zap your heartbeat and tense your stomach when instinctual fear kicks in. A single moment of anxiety can linger for hours as the body struggles to let go of that jolt of intensity. I will most likely never know what that man was doing, standing on the corner outside of my apartment building, and I will never be able to explain why I felt such innate distrust, but I am certain of one thing: his presence had a lasting impression on me. Hours later, I’m still afraid to turn off my light and slip into the impending, terror infused dreams awaiting my psyche.

Sleep well, friends.

–Leanne Rebecca

Ghost

Ghost  There I was, the girl sitting alone at a table in Whole Foods, licking chocolate off my fingers, heart in my head, guitar in my ears, stars lost in cynical fear, convinced no one could see my existence under the florescent hue. So I licked away, sucking on every knuckle until I’d captured all the chocolate, hands cleansed of the transgression, no trace that it ever happened, no evidence that I’d been there at all.   Tomorrow is my dead sister’s birthday, but you’d never know that.

Tonight is one of those nights that I could rant forever about what’s on my mind. Often though, I feel like I’ve already exhausted writing about my struggles. There are only so many times you can fill page after page with emotional drama, self-doubt, existential questioning, etc. There comes a point where you have to acknowledge it but figure out a way to channel everything you’d scribble in terribly written prose into something productive. I don’t want to dwell on struggle. I want to live today and love today. Everything is fleeting.

Happy birthday dear Becky.

–Leanne Rebecca

Nothing Weird About It

Nothing Weird About It   They made fun of me— that I liked punk music, drawn towards androgynous men with eyeliner and tattoos, that I never outgrew the teenage emo stage.  They called me names— derogatory jabs to bring me down, politically, socially, morally incorrect pet names, mongoloid, useless and naive.   They teamed up to abuse me— attacking my secret vulnerability, extreme ticklishness, backing me into the corner of the room, physically pinning me down, outnumbered.  They ignored my texts called me out  flipped me off berated my diet told me I was weird.   A gravitational field pulled me towards them— the sarcastic ones, friends gifting vulgarity as if “fuck you” had replaced the words “I love you.” I’d never trade any of it.   —Leanne Rebecca

There’s no magic formula to finding best friends. They manifest from unlikely places and often the people you may have felt hesitant to let into your world end up being the ones that mean the most. Once you find them though, you never let them go.

Tonight I’m feeling thankful.

–Leanne Rebecca

Never Again

Never Again  I do what I can to avoid that place, that head space when I needed an end to escape friendlessness, the torment not being able to feel my own breathing, a carcass driving aimless going nowhere, those days alone listening to song after song, wishing home felt like home, wishing my voice could rise, that invisible me could be seen.   Those days may have died as I learned to dispose of emotion, crying out the suicide, leaving the drops of intention to dry in a trail behind. But the scar still haunts, still taunts at this heart, whispers no one else can hear or know to understand, to allow my hand to hold a little tighter, to feel their pulse against mine, to help me feel alive.   I do what I can to avoid that place, incessant texts, aggressive pursuit of connection, random sex and make out sessions, singing as loud as scabbed lungs will allow, forcing your fingers in mine and pulling you close, begging you to stay so that I’m not alone, afraid, betrayed by the yesterdays when the threat of death was the only time I felt relevant.   —Leanne Rebecca

Tonight I’m obsessed with the song “Scene Four – Don’t You Ever Forget About Me” by Sleeping with Sirens. I’m pretty sure my roommate hates me because I just played it about 7 times in a row:

Don’t you ever forget about me
When you toss and turn in your sleep
I hope it’s because you can’t stop thinking about
The reasons why you close your eyes
I haunt your dreams at night
So you can’t stop thinking about me
Don’t stop thinking about me

Do you really think you could see this through
Put on a smile and wear it for someone new
Don’t you do it
‘Cause I know I’m not the easiest one to love
But every ounce I have
I invest in you
But no one said love’s not for taking chances

Hitting home.

–Leanne Rebecca

Tricked

Tricked	  The room dimmed with the sunset, the space that hours before had been filled with conversation— friends drinking champagne, investing fractions of their lives in sharing time— now faded into shadow, the imprint of connection dying  as we drifted back to segregation, alone in introspection’s isolation as if the party had never happened, as if he’d never talked to me, as if they’d never met, as if our imaginations tricked us into believing loneliness isn’t a chronic disease.   —Leanne Rebecca

There’s something about the close of the weekend that requires epic introspection. Now is the time, when everyone is winding down and setting their Monday morning alarm clocks, to take a few moments and reflect on what’s running most prominently through your brain.

Sometimes I struggle with these hours of solitude, feeling lost in their isolation, afraid of the silence. Other times I welcome the freedom. Tonight I feel both with equal weight.

Sleep well my friends!

–Leanne Rebecca

Geometry

We’ve aligned ourselves in a conundrum, standing in a circle that doesn’t connect, dancing round and round this game of heartache, tripping out of line, falling in passion's trap, waiting for the hand next door to pull us back into the flirtation of friendship, the guise of fitting together, sucked deep into the mystery of not quite chemistry, the him and the me and the him and the her and the us confused by timing, by equations we can’t solve. So we walk side by side at an impasse, frustrated by the same emotion, all in love but not with the right one.

I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. One of my best friends just got engaged and we’ve been talking about how she knew that he was her partner for life. Her answer, simple and honestly vague, is that something deep inside her just knew.

There’s no common factor that can explain why sometimes we feel romantic chemistry and sometimes we don’t. There’s no trick to lining up that connection. I’ve always been someone that feels it right away and in my experience, no matter how much time I spend with a person doesn’t change whether or not that spark is there. I do believe that love is a decision, ultimately, but it’s foundation is built upon that invisible force that draws you to each other. It’s frustrating when chemistry just misses or when bad timing prevents the heart from sensing it. There are no set paths to falling in love and that exploration, that heartbreak, that discovery, that journey is why we write.

It All

It All  It all hides what I know they know that none of us will say, that connections fade like the end of a song, that no matter how much wine we drink and how many laughs we discover, the ache still penetrates once everyone goes back home.  Some of us pour another glass, write a fucking poem  to keep the room from spinning, some of us sing the same song on repeat until we’ve hit all the stages of grief— pretending we’re not bothered, pretending we’re empowered, falling prey to obsessions that eventually break and that last glass of wine comes back up in perfect cue with the final ringing note and two fingers clutching desperately  to this idea that we can erase our transgressions, and live tomorrow  like we’re not embarrassed, as if we don’t know this is all wrong, and we’re hurting each other, suffering with mouths shut, fucking ourselves wishing the whole time he’d call and that I could be a better friend and drink less.   We never wanted to hurt you.  We never wanted to hurt ourselves. But we did it anyway because we didn’t know what to do when the song ended and the produced track fell silent and all we were left with was an empty bottle and an empty bed and no one to tell us what was right.

I used to write all the time, even when I didn’t have a poem in mind. I was a regular at a couple cafes and coffee shops and would set aside blocks of time to make myself at home in their booths, put my feet up, and figure out something to say that day. I can’t write like that anymore, can’t draw inspiration from nothing, concoct a story or rework a random memory into anything with any meaning. These days I only write when I have no choice, when something is going through my mind that I need to get out, and that itch to write is so consuming that I won’t be able to sleep until it’s out.

Today was about obsession. I listened to the same song on repeat all day long. I’m not kidding. This isn’t an exaggeration. I’m not so secretly crushing on the band’s frontman and I can’t get enough of it. The song, “In the End” by Black Veil Brides, is a metal anthem that begs for attention. There’s a reason the video has 49 MILLION views on YouTube. Today I added a couple more hundred to that count. After a day like that, trapped in the grips of passion, the outpouring of emotion, the crying of an entire generation summed up in about 4 minutes, I needed to write a poem. I NEEDED to write a poem. I needed my voice heard too.

Tonight I feel like I could write forever.

–Leanne Rebecca

Empowerment

Empowerment  It’s the neck of a guitar worked by painted nails, edges worn, life’s living evidenced in imperfection.  It’s wind dried hair flying across sun blushed cheeks, car windows down, driving 80 on the highway, music so loud the engine’s silent.  It’s doing another set of 10 dead lifts as that man watches again, hovering like a wasp across the room, obsessive eyes flickering with a stinger’s bite.   It’s sweat soaking the back, snaking down the collarbone, stinging the eyes and blinking through it, not letting 90 degree heat  or parched lungs win.   It’s crying with zeal, the passion of explosion, admitting truth in tears, relinquishing all control and letting it out, saying it all, feeling it all,  the bravery of vulnerability.   —Leanne Rebecca

Empowerment is writing a poem instead of falling apart. Empowerment is writing a poem in spite of falling apart. Empowerment is falling apart and writing about it the next day.

Good night my friends.

–Leanne Rebecca

Angry Poem

Angry Poem  I fought until I was the fool, until every word I said compounded insignificance, tacking on weightless syllables that fizzled into nothing as if I hadn’t said a thing at all, a person without a voice, not a person at all.   For a moment I let the silence stick, crushed by insecurity as if speaking would reveal weakness, repulsed by my thoughts, my impulses, my actions, letting it all get to me regretting my voice regretting me.   But something felt wrong to write about deficits, to strip away the intention of all those things I said, to say the meaning meant nothing. Those words mattered, fucking mattered, because I matter.

Don’t ever let someone make you feel like you don’t have a voice or that your voice has no weight. Be heard. Be yourself and be heard.

I love you guys.

–Leanne Rebecca

Elemental

Elemental  I thought about going to sleep with the eye makeup still on, convinced that choosing to strip off that layer would rob me of self expression, vanquish the artistic beauty screaming  from this morning’s play when no one was around as I spent an hour reworking pigments, trying again and again until obsession and satisfaction married and I fell in love with what I’d created.   There’s no denial of vanity, living in reflection, caring what the eyes see blinking behind masks, disposable self-mutilation inflicted again and again with intention, to impress, to cry out these feelings inside that need to escape, to beg to be seen in the irony of hiding.  It wasn’t just removing eye liner as I forced the cotton ball across my lid. It was wiping away today’s identity, the me I wanted to be, the words I couldn’t say  entrenched in how heavily I caked the black: my lashes coated in heart, a persona crafted by my own hand to detract from the one underneath the smudges, the paint washed away by late night confessions, evidence lost in the sink, another day, another girl forgotten.

It’s almost 2 in the morning and my eyes are burning from keeping them open too long. I didn’t sleep much last night either. I have this frustrating urge to keep fighting, to push a little longer. I don’t think I’ve ever posted a poem this late, or early, depending on how you see it, but I couldn’t help myself. I needed to get these words out. I needed to try. I just need to keep trying.

Good night now,

–Leanne Rebecca

Reclaimed

Reclaimed  She’d relinquished her existence long ago to everyone and everything but her own volition, accepting she couldn’t control the crying of the clouds, the sky exerting dominance on the people wrapped underneath like prisoners of a dictator.   She let ominous intimidation tell her how to feel: tears breaking when it stormed, sadness infused in flash floods, billowing into the drains on the street, running below the city in an undercurrent of gloom.   She lost sight of possibility, that even if it rained she could dance, that happenstance could align in spite of the wind fighting opposition with gusts of yesterday’s debris, that if she looked at the clouds from a different angle she could imagine whatever shapes she wanted.  She stumbled with the sky’s discretion, thrown whatever direction its will decreed, falling to her knees, begging for mercy as her heart admitted defeat.  She stared up at the sky, at the expanse of gray beckoning and heard nothing, realizing only then, that she’d imagined  the grip on her destiny, that she could reclaim the faculty of living and just be.

This one is inspired by “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. It’s been my anthem over the past month or so.

Have a great rest of your weekend!

–Leanne Rebecca