happy national poetry month !

i’m kicking off national poetry month as well as i know how. had one poem published by an online lit journal, read some Sylvia Plath, and wrote a poem in a sitting that i feel confident about a future form. (yeah i know dirt is the only thing i write about thanks)

April Resistance
Untitled #1

nothing serene about being supine:
the interior turning, like well-oiled gears or
pitchforking organic matter over itself
to encourage the hot. nothing supine
about a compost box. about dirt.
about the seeds you will put in the dirt.

requiring: care. requiring: water.
requiring: weeding. requiring: sun.

tell me, do you, and how do you, ignore
the gut churning that comes
from consuming non-plant matter
(animal matter) ?
tell me, do you, or don’t you, crave
green with every meal, greens
like kale or spinach or broccoli which
when balanced with grains and protein
will help forgotten parts of your body
heal?

after my cat died
my body stopped feeling hunger.
some other part of me knew to eat anyway
so went and bought sugar snap peas.
for two weeks, more
just the sweet snap of pods. just
drinking enough water. just leaving
ample space for grief.

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December 30th, 2016

You know when you make promises because you mean to keep them but life throws a curveball or a crisis, requires attention, eats time like midnight snacks while midnight laughs and laughs? That’s me and this blog. I’ve started blog posts, taken notes for reviews I want to do, guilted myself for leaving this blog space unattended, but the influx of Words lately have been worse than earwax, blocking hearing bungling my brain. But I have been writing. I wrote thank you responses to nearly every birthday wish I received; I started a birthday blog post at 2AM after returning home from dancing, but hopefully that will end up as a poem. I wrote a series of tweets while manic concerning revelations and my love for Brand New. I wrote someone in so many words that I cared, that I’d care for them as long as they’ll let me. Last night I wrote half a song, left hand fingers barely tapping guitar strings from callous-pain, right thumb strumming at low volume, giddy to continue working on it til there’s a result. It’s all just words. Keep them coming. Right now I’m eating garlic hummus, fancy cheese and canned plums, and feeling grateful for the sunset I saw tonight from Glass Beach, the orange rip across the skyline hovering above the Sound, the clouds a patient sort of angry, a sort of crescendo. I’m grateful last night I asserted my space, that today was filled with stressful tasks but somehow stayed stress free. Here’s to no. Here’s to now. 

December 26, 2016

Every day can be New Years Eve if you believe hard enough. Every moment. I’m the sort of sickly sweet annoying that believes there’s always a possibility of real, drastic, lasting change that can happen at a moments notice. I also recognize that depression quashes both the arguably “human” urge for change, and the very ability to enact it. Recognizing depression is a single step in recovery. It’s a step that has to be made repeatedly, because even on days where the painted lines on the road match up correctly, and everyone says thank you when they order their complicated latte and the hemp or almond or nonfat cow’s milk steams perfectly, and the sun sets between smog and cloud in such a way that pink and purple dominate the horizon; even when those perfect or contented days happen, depression still lingers like black mold in the window of a Bellingham rental. And the thing about black mold is, you can’t and shouldn’t disturb the spores on your own. It takes a professional, or at least someone who understands the mold. There are a lot of molds that can be easily managed, but some are as deadly as congenital heart failure, all that fluid in the lungs. But really, I don’t know what I’m digressing about. Except that I have to remind myself every day that yes, I am still sick. Yes, I am still fighting for my life. No, it won’t get easier unless I do something about it. 

I’m writing to make blogging an aspect of my daily routine. Whatever words come out are worthy because they’re the cement I’m laying for this personal vendetta called ‘some kind of consistency.’ I didn’t blog for three months and before that for six months but I’m closing a gap. My words long for homes as much as I do. 

2 poems

hi blogging world, it’s been awhile but I’m back to share my words with more consistency. these two poems, “Grown Woman” and “compost, recursion” were written during my time at Western, and accepted and published in Jeopardy Magazine’s 2016 edition. I was overjoyed to be published alongside so many talented writers, especially because so many of them were my peers and classmates. 

thanks for reading!

Grown Woman

she is lithe, voiced and dreamy. intention is mirrored in motion is mirrored in muscles is mirrored in mantras, and so on, and so she moves. she admires the contraction of her muscles, the lewd mass of her calves and thighs, and is pleased.
when the anchored eyelids of time intrude, she quiets the buzzing inside her, drops eaves on happy children and swallows the accompanying soft joy that tastes so much like apprehension. there is another joy, beyond windows, chain-link, interstates, college towns, microclimates, mountain ranges, state lines. there is a joy beyond the quiet joy. she knows because that truth is calligraphied on her bones. she believes it because she wrote it.

hazes pass and she pines for silk. she snaps her spindly fingers in 4/4 time and nearby trees collapse. the willow she favors she collects and props it up like a broom, spends hours pruning and fidgeting with its tendrils, and ponders all the neglected atoms of human bodies and sea bodies and earth’s body. the protein bulk of her quivers with the waiting, the wanting, the wilding nature compressed into checklists and bank accounts and binaries as blinding as the very star she orbits. she snaps her fingers at her patience. she will count to three, and spring. 

compost, recursion

in the fall we ‘barrow all the bitter orbs we couldn’t eat
from treeshade to the crowned king, wide-mouthed woman,
our hand-me-down compost heap: an old fridgadaire on its side,
resplendent haven of pill bugs, fruit flies and prophetic worms.
a sharp ear might discern the busy gurgle behind the pestbuzz, 
but to plumb the dirt’s depths is to interrupt the hot heat
churning the uncounted pounds of speckled ground apples,
the hot heat that melts them to a fertile puddle we will depend upon.
would you guess that an apple tree’s trash combined with
coffee grounds and fruit scraps could home a future of corn stalks?
we laugh with tools in hand, smirk at decay, we have gained
the old knowledge of muck passed down through the worms.

TRIP: POEMS

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during my last quarter at Western, I enrolled in a graduate level poetry class, which only cemented my fervor for poetry. my professor, Oliver de la Paz, has been pushing and supporting me since spring of 2015 to become a better poet and writer, and this course was no exception.

the final project for this course was either to complete a portfolio or a chapbook, and I decided to go the hard way ;). TRIP: POEMS is a collection of 16 poems written over the course of my last year at Western. their main concern is the natural world in general and the Pacific Northwest in particular, but I also wove my dealings with an abusive relationship into the threads of the story. it’s about road trips, acid trips, and trips through the strange paths of friendship.

I see myself extending this into a full length book of poetry in the future, or at least doing some extensive editing and submitting some of these poems to publications, but for now please enjoy my first poetry chapbook for free. the project itself is made up of poems pasted intentionally on pages from a road atlas, and the pages often correspond with the meaning of the poems. most of the poems are prose poetry, but not all. TRIP: POEMS is the product of many hours of writing, editing, cutting, pasting, laminating, and worrying. it’s one of the first tangible outcomes of my writing endeavors, and I definitely feel proud of the outcome.

Click to read TRIP: POEMS

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on my last day as a student

hello blogging world! my name is Leah, and I created this wordpress for all things writing; first and foremost, poetry, but fiction, literal blog posts, book reviews and music projects may pop up in the future as well. I want to use this blog for anything that has to do with words in any way.

a little about me: I’m 24 years old, have lived in the Skagit Valley for two years and will soon be returning to Bellingham for the summer. in March of this year I graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis. but before that, I was a math major. and before that, I was a German major at Seattle Pacific University. my path to writing has been stilted, and it took four years of floundering through college, and before that many years of secret poems and late night urges, to finally come to writing.

after dropping out of SPU in 2011, I hopped a plane to Alaska to make some quick cash, and then moved to Bellingham. I worked full time and in spring of 2012 returned to school, taking core English and math classes at Whatcom Community College. during one of my final quarters at WCC I enrolled in a creative writing class, and everything changed.

being in that class, surrounded by fellow weirdos who loved to write, made me realize that maybe there was another kind of home waiting for me. a home I could make through writing. I submitted to WCC’s spring poetry contest, the Kumquat Challenge, and my poem “dream/memory” won first place in the current student category.

it took another year of struggling through offshoots of calculus and transferring to Western for me to realize that what I was doing wasn’t right. when it came time to declare my major, I made the decision to change, and officially began studying English. my final six quarters of college were made up almost entirely of English classes, which I will be forever grateful for.

I’ve been writing my whole life, but it took taking a chance on myself and realizing that my words do  have power to make writing into my priority and my lifeblood. I graduated from Western March 19th, 2016, cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in English, and I don’t think I’ll ever regret making the choice to study and become better at the one thing I love in this life, the one thing I truly feel good at.