Posted in art, poetry, writing

Monotone Sky

Monotone Sky  The color of dusk forgot to fly today, the sky muted as if  the pigments of sunset all ran together into muddy water, a monotone emotion consuming the horizon line.  My hands clenched the steering wheel, grasping at anything I could hold, I could touch, I could feel in tangible certainty, staring at the gray blue haze beyond the windshield and the numbness of vibrance lost.

Tonight I thought I’d offer a little insight into my writing process. I have a relationship with my notebooks. I can look at each one sitting on my shelf and remember what phase I was going through at the time. That black and tan one with the ripped binding holds the pain of moving away from my best friends after college. The light blue one was filled in a single coffee shop during a period of extreme loneliness while drinking almond milk lattes every day. The pastel swirled one is dedicated to Twenty One Pilots. The zebra striped one holds the heartache of unrequited love. The orange one is when I started facing my demons. I could keep going.

I love holding a pen in my hand and feeling the energy of emotion flow through. I love being able to scribble through thoughts, keeping the record of struggle and indecision tangible. I like that I edit as I go, reminded of the imperfection at every glance. Writing is a messy art and I crave that hand to paper connection. Computers are convenient, but if given the choice I choose a notebook every time.

I hope your weekend was splendid. Sleep well my friends.

Love,

Leanne

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Posted in art, Music, poetry

This Heart that Beats

I wish I knew how to write myself a love letter, wish my arms could wrap around my heart, cradle the weight in my palms and breathe the electricity of the beat, feel the strum of my guitar beneath my fingers, let fly the fear held captive in unbroken tears, and trust that I am beautiful, write that I am beautiful that it doesn’t matter that he couldn’t see it and he couldn’t see it and he couldn’t see it.  I love that I don’t want to pretend that I don’t miss him, heart zipped up, mended as if it had never cracked. I’m mismatched, stitched by time, how some days it disappears and others feel like years, losing moments to old emotions, the fool caught in yesterday,  picking at old scabs.   I wish I could forgive the girl that fell. I want to tell her that I love her and that she should never regret the size of her own heart, her capacity to admire, her courage to feel, her strength to invite him to see her art, even if he couldn’t see it, and he couldn’t see it, and he couldn’t see it.  I want to write myself a love letter, sing my worth, guitar in hand and trust that I am beautiful.   —Leanne Rebecca

I ran out of time today to do everything that I wanted to do. I need to remember that it doesn’t make me a failure, but that my life is full.

Tonight I’m listening to acoustic Sleeping with Sirens and Grizfolk. I want to lose myself in the lyrics like I did yesterday at Warped Tour, closing my eyes and feeling the music of each band, letting it grab hold of my soul and claim a part of me, even for just a second.

I discovered a band called Onward Etc. If there’s one thing you’ll take away from this blog post, it’s to listen to them and find your own poem in their lyrics.

Good night loves.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in honesty, hope, poetry

Cynical

Cynical   I wished on eyelashes until my eyes had been cried bare, fantasies drained and replaced by a brittle heart, desiccated to sawdust, the shell of trust withered with each tear lost.   An errant eyelash fell to my cheek this morning. I caressed it onto my fingertip and considered the magic once bestowed to its freedom, magic as betraying as the hope that someday those wishes would come true.   I let the eyelash fall to the floor, without the whispers of tomorrow enchanting its flight, brushing its absence against my skirt, forgetting the wish were ever an option.

I used to wish the same thing every time I found an eyelash on my cheek. I’d pucker my lips and let a puff of air carry my wish to the wind, where it waited, caught in stasis, never rising to fruition. I whispered the same words in my head for years, believing that if I wanted it badly enough that some force would hear me and that the one thing I always wanted would manifest.

It’s not that I believe in magic or superstition or the power of wishing on a shooting star, but I believed that having that much faith in something for that long would carry me through, that if I never gave up that somehow planets would align.

I can’t say right now that my wish won’t come true since I don’t know what the future holds, but I’ve found it more and more difficult to place faith in unrequited fantasy. I don’t like letting my eyelashes fall to the floor unacknowledged, effusing cynicism and defeat as dust coats the lash on the fall to the ground.

I refuse to give up, but it’s hard not to.

Tonight I’m obsessed with the Breaking Benjamin song “Ashes of Eden” from their new album. I’ve been obsessed with it since the second I heard it. The lyrics haunt me and I’m overwhelmed with a sense of melancholy. I feel the emotion in his voice as deeply as my own. I encourage you to listen and let it wash over you. Close your eyes and sing.

Ashes Of Eden

Will the faithful be rewarded
When we come to the end
Will I miss the final warning
From the lie that I have lived
Is there anybody calling
I can see the soul within
And I am not worthy
I am not worthy of this

Are you with me after all
Why can’t I hear you
Are you with me through it all
Then why can’t I feel you
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Because there’s nothing left at all
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Until the Ashes of Eden fall

Will the darkness fall upon me
When the air is growing thin
Will the light begin to pull me
To its everlasting will
I can hear the voices haunting
There is nothing left to fear
And I am still calling
I am still calling to you

Are you with me after all
Why can’t I hear you
Are you with me through it all
Then why can’t I feel you
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Because there’s nothing left at all
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Until the Ashes of Eden fall

(Don’t let go)
Why can’t I hear you
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Because there’s nothing left at all
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Until the Ashes of Eden fall
Heaven above me, take my hand (Stay with me, don’t let me go)
Shine until there’s nothing left but you
Heaven above me, take my hand (Stay with me, don’t let me go)
Shine until there’s nothing left but you

Good night, friends.
Love,
Leanne Rebecca
Posted in desire, love, poetry

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.

Posted in poetry, writing

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

Posted in honesty, poetry

Glory One Day

Glory One Day  The oppression formed a mushroom cloud around my entire body, trapping years of everything I couldn’t say in smog laden prison. I suffocated from the inside out, suppressed by the need to control every breath, every swallow, obsessing like a hypochondriac, everything was wrong and nothing.   I needed your permission to open my soul to the world outside of me, to not feel consumed  by the ashes of regrets  and stop fighting  just stop  and find the glory of staring mistakes in the eye, owning their weight with faith that one day I’ll learn to let them fade, lifted by release.

This weekend I saw Paramore, one of my favorite bands, play at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis. I was moved to literal tears by the set and turned to my friend and said, “it’s crazy how much I relate to their music.” My friend looked me in the eye and said, “Leanne, it’s not crazy because we all feel that way.”

We all go through struggles, many of them more similar to the stranger sitting next to you than you might realize. We all go through cycles of making mistakes, growing, learning, and discovering glory on the other side of the darkness we never thought we’d find our way out of. Stay strong my friends and don’t be so hard on yourselves.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in love, poetry, writing

Integrity

She succumbed to influence, forgetting to trust her heart, realizing she’d never trusted her heart, not with as much zeal as it deserved.   She let them tell her how her heart should beat, how many clicks in a minute it should feel, which minutes deserved her soul and which she needed to let go.   They told her when her heart was wrong and when her heart was weak and she believed them and tried to reshape its lines.   One day, after all the breaks her veins twisted in knots, confused, she realized she’d lost her beat, breathing someone else’s thinking.   In that moment, she was free to fall, but with integrity, to fall poetically, trusting she’d fly.

I’m no stranger to crying. I cry during ASPCA commercials. I cried at the end of the newest Cinderella movie. I cry when they name the winner of The Voice. Rarely, however, does poetry make me cry. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

I usually write poetry as a response to crying whereas few poems have truly moved me to tears. Today as I was sitting at my desk, listening to Pandora like any other Monday at the office, Tom Petty’s song Free Fallin came on and I needed to write this poem, didn’t have a choice.

I reread what I wrote, and suddenly, my throat started tightening. Something about this poem makes me cry, even as I look at it now. I guess it’s because this poem is my heart.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Photograph

Photograph  She nurtured the outside with as much sweat as she could, building her image with layers of lies to the point of almost believing, her ego stacked on new muscle, new clothes, a new haircut.   She flaunted the addiction with calculated precision,  presenting an edited version of self, tight skinny jeans to evoke jealousy, manipulating  the perceptions around to see only what she wanted.   They accepted the picture  she showed them, unaware, uncaring what ticked inside, because a girl like that, so beautiful, so outgoing could never feel invisible beneath her designer t-shirts.

My friend Katie took this picture of me. I didn’t know she was taking it at the time, otherwise I probably would have made a silly face or looked away. There’s something about candid pictures that are the best because they expose a side of us we so frequently hide from the world.

Tonight’s song is “Fly” by Sleeping with Sirens. Loving their new album.

What are you most afraid for people to see? For me, it’s fear.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, beauty, poety, writing

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

Posted in art, poetry, writing

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

Posted in art, honesty, poetry, writing

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

Posted in art, poetry, writing

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

Posted in art, love, poetry, writing

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