Posted in death, life, poetry

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

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Posted in honesty, loneliness, poetry

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

Posted in love, poetry

Always and Forever

Always and Forever  I don’t know how I forgot about that book. I saw it in the window of a used bookstore last week, stumbling into childhood nostalgia as if jumping into a puddle, both feet all at once, splashed by  flashes of of my mom cradling me in her arms, singing the made up melody to the song in that forgotten book.   I’m amazed I learned to sleep without her hug, without her voice rocking me into dreams, without the comfort of a mother in the room down the hall, amazed I could wake without the gentle coaxing of her singing and the warmth of her arms holding me, assuring me that she’d keep me safe.  Wake up Leanne, wake up Leanne, wake up, wake up, wake up, she’d sing, coaxing my eyes to open, teaching me through song how to fill a room with love, and bright eyed soak it up with the morning sun. I always felt ready for the day, nurtured by her hand in mine, fingers always and forever intertwined until the moment she knew she could let go, taking off the training wheels to my bicycle, and watch me ride alone.   —Leanne Rebecca

I write this poem with extreme thanks for the blessed life that I’ve led, a carefree childhood and loving family. I recognize that Mother’s Day isn’t rainbows and butterflies for many people: mothers that have lost their children, children that have lost their mothers, broken families, reality. Even in my family, there’s an element of sadness on this day. My parents buried their first child when she was 16 months old. This is also the first Mother’s Day since my Grandma Genny died.

It’s easy to forget that many many emotions surround this day and where one family smiles another might cry. It’s important to empathize and take a moment to think about the true weight of this day. I find it allows me to appreciate what I have that much more. I’m beyond thankful to be filled with so much love.

I love you, Mom.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, rhyme, writing

The Not Quite

The Not Quite  I only thought about it for one hour a day, in the hours of bedtime tea, my reflection staring back at me while brushing my teeth before the siphoning of light  as night’s shadows settled in my eyes.  Only in that time did I feel like the not quite, drifting to sleep in the lullabies that haunted the air in my lungs, analyzing too intensely the songs sung in the daylight.   Only in that hour did I give permission to disclose this expression, my secret anxieties to flood my sheets as pinot noir pinked my cheeks, a rush of heat in a kiss of honesty.   Only then did I question everything, the not quite searching for a reason, deciphering the origins of these lesions, falling into dreams gripped by a heart stripped to its vulnerability.

Uncharacteristic rhyme tonight. There’s something about this poem that I really love. I almost didn’t write one, just thought maybe I’d let the TV drown out thinking until falling asleep, but I couldn’t just ignore my inner poet fighting to come out. She didn’t want to be ignored and I’m so glad I listened.

Good night!

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, twenty one pilots, writing

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

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Break Away

Break Away  I don’t feel like crafting poetry, meticulously measuring every word to fit in some designed form, throwing away perfectly good ones because they aren’t rhythmic or specific or innovative enough. Poetry is too complicated, simultaneously too efficient, leaving out half the story, forgetting that the clutter between the words is part of the song too, the stumbles and mistakes, the version before the rewrite, the decisions regretted just as worthy. I have too much to say to limit the emotion to single images. I’m overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start, so I’ll write it all, all the dismay of this one day shared in unabridged confession:

My biggest challenge in my writing is clutter. I use too many words and too many fillers, or at least I used to. I’ve worked on refining my verse quite a bit, but it’s exhausting! Hell, sometimes I want to overuse adverbs and let my rant run free, no matter how inarticulate the finished product.

Lately I’ve been writing in stream of consciousness form. I don’t judge. I don’t edit. I don’t stop. I just write. This piece was the first. I didn’t change a word.

Happy Saturday!

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, Music, poetry, writing

Speechless

Speechless  My wit atrophies into a freshly erased chalkboard, smeared with dust, remnants of brain activity dragged into a blur. I listen to what you say but cannot speak in return. I taste the chalk of words caked in my closed mouth, too dry to write them with sound.  By the time I find a pen to transcribe my silence, you’ve left. I hit repeat on the same song 9 times while working on this post last night. Every play hit me harder than the last, a compounding obsession culminated in the fact that I’m talking about it right now. Maybe it means something and maybe it doesn’t. All I know is that today is Friday.

Sometimes I talk about the days of the week because I don’t know what else to say but most of the time I talk about the days of the week because their existence seems just as important as anything else. Wow, it’s Friday. Find a song you love and listen to it 9 times in a row.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, Music, poetry, writing

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

Posted in art, Music, poetry, writing

Autonomy

AutonomyI’ve said this before, I know, but I love using music for inspiration, especially when the song evokes something that isn’t obvious, like in the case of today’s poem. I doubt anyone would read the words above and see the direct correlation between the Fall Out Boy song and my words, but that’s the beauty of it. Songs have so many layers and I love finding my muse between them, whether drawing influence from a single word, the underlying harmony, a single guitar riff, a drum transition, etc. Long story short, I promise the verse above is inspired by “Young Volcanoes,” which happens to be my favorite song off their Save Rock and Roll album.

Thanks for rockin’ with me! Check back next week for more musically inspired poetry. Have any good song suggestions?

Posted in art, Music, poetry, writing

Distraction

DistractionIf you’ve never tried writing under the influence of a song, I highly recommend it. Turn the volume up, hit repeat, and lose your soul for a minute as you let the vibrancy of the melody steal your physical body. Don’t just listen, but absorb. Internalize the lyrics and drum your fingers with the beat as you let your imagination run. What do you see if you close your eyes? A memory?

Write it. 

Whatever you feel, just write it.

As per my usual Sunday series inspired by songs on my playlist, today’s poem is inspired by “The Great Escape,” by Boys Like Girls. I’ve been utterly obsessed with this song for about a month. Sure I heard it when it came out years ago, but rediscovering it has deepened my connection beyond the initial admiration of dancing along to a catchy song. Anyway, give a listen below and come back again next week for another round of celebrating the camaraderie of music and poetry.