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

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Posted in art, poetry, writing

Scars

Scars  It’s been enough years that the emotions have died in time.   I remember the day like I would a news story— facts blocked in a reel, a non-biased documentary framing a girl and her brush with death, her fear and loss of childhood.  I grew up in acceptance of new routine, ignoring diminished dignity moving past the stages of self-pity, and learned not to question misfortune.  No one would know the stories behind these scars, would know about the scars at all, scars hidden under t-shirts, the only evidence I’m slightly broken.

I write about this once a year and once a year only. Fourteen years ago today I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I remember that day in chunks: when my pediatrician told us to drive to the hospital, when the nurse weighed me and commented that I was skin and bones, when I had to pee so badly as they were admitting me that I almost went in my pants, the first shot they gave me, the first shot I gave myself, sobbing in my mom’s arms in my dark hospital room, convinced that I’d never be able to eat pizza again.

Type 1 diabetes isn’t one of those diseases that people know you have. Aside from insulin pumps and hordes of empty juice boxes, we’re undetectable. I don’t hide my condition, but I don’t bring it up either. It’s a part of me now, locked into every moment of every day, burned into my routine, into my history, and into my future.

This is my confessional. Sometimes I’m still embarrassed to bring out my insulin pump at the dinner table, even with my closest friends. It’s been fourteen years and I still struggle with dosing food correctly. I don’t like to admit when I don’t feel well and I cancel doctor’s appointments when I’ve had trouble controlling my blood sugars just so my doctor won’t find out that I’m “failing” at being a good diabetic.

I’m not shy about my disease. I always welcome conversation and questions and will share my stories to anyone that cares to ask. It’s a strange dichotomy: being an open book that’s shoved inside a backpack.

Thanks for listening to my D-Day story. I guarantee next March 26th will reveal another chapter.

-Leanne Rebecca

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Posted in art, poetry, writing

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

Posted in art, poetry, writing

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

Posted in art, poetry, writing

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

 

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Hidden

Hidden

Today’s one of those anniversaries I’d rather not celebrate. It’s a day that commemorates the moment my life changed 13 years ago, a day I lost a little bit of my childhood innocence, forced to grow up in the car ride to the hospital. I try not to pout or draw attention to my situation on the regular because self-pity is as unattractive a vice as any, but if there’s one day I’ll let the tears fall, it’s today, D-Day, March 26th, the day I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

If you see a T1D today, give them a hug for me. Let them know you care. This disease is more grueling than you can imagine, more relentless than meets the eye, and more life-threatening than we dare to admit. Though we may not let our vulnerability show, I promise, your love and support means the world.

Posted in art, Music, poetry, twenty one pilots, writing

Trees

TreesToday’s poem is inspired by the Twenty One Pilots song with the same title, “Trees.” Their version forces me to reflect on the exact emotions I fight to hide from contemplation, but in that reflection I find the purpose to write my own verse and expel the words that imprison my confidence.

…and if you can figure out what that means, you win 10 points!

Check back every Saturday for a new poem named after a Twenty One Pilots track and as always, check out their music below!

 

Posted in poetry, writing

Simple Counting

Simple Counting

Today is day 3 of Heart Week on She’s in Prison in honor of all those born with congenital heart defects. On August 25th, I am walking in the St. Louis Congenital Heart Walk in memory of my sister Rebecca Lyn and in support of friends, new and old, and their families. Please help me raise awareness and funds for CHD research by donating and/or finding a walk in your city!

Go HERE for more information.