About the Poet:
||Photo by Marc Lorenz.
Leigh Ann has a Masters degree in Psychology with a specialization in Creative Expression and is a full-time artist. Leigh Ann is a two time national competing member of the San Francisco Slam poetry team. She is also a Minister with Universal Life Church and has been trained in Transpersonal Psychology, Psychosynthesis, Psychodrama, Somatics, Creative Expression, Dream work, Sufism and Sufi Poetry, Poetry therapy, Meditative techniques, Yoga, Diversity issues, LGBTIQ issues, Wilderness Therapy, Behavioral Modification and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, the 12 Steps, Wisdom Therapy, Play Therapy, Kaballah, Taoism, and more. Leigh Ann is currently committed to writing, publishing, performing, practicing the healing arts, creative expression, and modeling.
- She lay in bed
With movie screen eyelids
And see-through skin,
That anyone can read her secrets published
In bold print between muscle fibers
She has always preferred to sleep in the dark;
That way she could focus on the crack of light beneath the bedroom door
And know exactly when shadows of shoes like two dark ghosts
Crept across her floorboard warning her
He was coming
The signal to surround herself in ice
She is frozen,
Still and silent
Like she’d learned long ago.
That once loomed so strong above her is now just a heavy shadow
Though she no longer has to suck breath
Through the rusty cage clawing at her lips,
She fears she will never free the trapped screams
Caught in the web he left in her throat
Or his silhouette
Incessantly slithering across her skin
If she will ever be able to collapse into bed after a long day of work,
Let the soft sheets hug her tired muscles,
Massage them to sleep without interruption…
She never touches the shower wall
Cold tile shudders
Memory from bone marrow
Of being pressed wet against it,
Stake driven from crotch to heart,
If she will ever be able to dig the crusted betrayal from beneath her fingernails
Such a part of her now…
Or will she ever disentangle the grief knotted inside her jaw?
The fear still crawls in the cracks of her lips.
Can’t understand why she won’t have sex with him in the shower
Can’t stand the sound of him grunting
Mixed with the spray of water
And why she can only have sex with the lights on
So she can see his face
Shadowy canopies are hard to distinguish
He’ll have to get the blow dryer from the bathroom to melt her
When she first slept with her head above the covers was so triumphant
No longer curling into herself,
Hugging her chest tightly
Between arms and pillow
Or the first time
She made it through the gyno without sobbing
Breathed herself through their invasion,
Or the first time
She used a tampon
Or the first time
She slept without her bra on
See Daddy’s little princess is trying to grow past her past
Curls itself in her crevices and always knocks uninvited.
She has become an expert in time traveling
Only hoping to dislodge these visions from the backs of her eyelids
Maybe then she could travel back
About her favorite t-shirt
The one she used to sniff
The one she stole off that teddy bear
Because she liked it better
And cigarette stained and dirty
Smelled like comfort
And her daddy
Maybe then he’d have known how much she loved him
And he would have only touched her
To hug her
Around the edge of her chin
As she surrenders
To wet pillow
And the kindness of sleep
Begins to creep into her
And this borrowed shame
Curled in the pit of her gut
Dissolves like his smoke
Like his swarming saliva
Like her kaleidoscope irises
And as her dreams
Begin to float
Between bits of filthy consciousness she makes one last wish that one day
- This intricate delicate gateway of creation.
Recently tired of the three am
- Ring ring,
- 'Hey baby, Wanna come pick me up?'
And men using me for sex, calling ourselves 'friends'
I became tired of being seen as just
- A pussy.
When I was 20 years old,
Haunted every time I pulled up my warm sheets and closed my eyes to sleep
With invasive images
- Of my five year old sheets being coldly taken off of me,
- Held down in bed and raped,
I used to start fights with every cat-callin car drivin by,
Immediately reminded that I
- Was just
- A pussy
A cute petite chick to stick their dick in
My first poem book had the word 'PUSSY'
Large black letters on a white background, taped to the cover
This was to remind me of what I didn't want to be and motivate me to spit poetry
See, Pussy is what we call ourselves when we mean weak,
When we mean cowardly,
When we mean- something to be ashamed of
But how could something so desired be so hated and so abused?
How could something so powerful be so beaten and so bruised, used?
See this myth of creation we've been brainwashed to believe in
Tells us that she came from him
Was made specially for him,
- A toy for him to play with,
- Have his way with
But if we're really made in the image of our Creator,
Then it's clear to me
- That God is Goddess
- The Creatrice
- And that he
- Came from Her
See if the chicken came first and the eggs from inside her
- And if life grows enfolded in her soft dark warmth for nine months
- Preparing us for birth,
- In whose f**ked up backward garden
- Could she have possibly came from his cracked rib?
Crack one for me.
- Make a baby.
See it's not men who spread their seed,
- But fertilize the seeds already planted inside her from birth.
The creative force of the universe is female.
Always understood to be such
- Until there was a deliberate attack on the religions of the Goddess.
- No one mentioned those ‘idols’ they were told to smash
- From those ‘heathen’ religions had breasts.
See- in the Judeo-Christian tradition,
- Marriage, Purity Laws, and Circumcision came at the same time.
- Marriage began to track the father line.
Prior to this our family tree was female.
Every strand in the web of life it's roots created was red,
- Connected by menstrual blood.
The only blood that doesn't come from a wound,
- The blood that nourishes babies,
- This blood was considered sacred.
This was before the Purity Laws
- Which deemed menstruating women 'dirty' and 'impure'
And made it a sin to touch a woman while she was bleeding,
- When before it was a privilege to f**k her while she was bleeding.
But the power of her blood was not yet forgotten,
- Which is why they created circumcision
To mimic menstruation by creating blood on the head of a penis.
But we're not taught this.
See our roots are female.
And our fruit is female.
And every child up to three months in the womb is
That's why they twisted the myth.
Told us Eve was the downfall of Adam
Gave us the illusion that the abundant Earth surrounding us, isn't a garden...?
Created a separation from Our Mother Earth
- And the Divine Feminine
So our power
- Could be controlled.
Divide and conquer.
- If Our Mother is suffering from Empty nest syndrome...
Lovingly pushed us out of her nest
- So we could find our wings
- Which she knows she can't flap for us,
Does She miss us?
- Thunderstorm tears for us
- And hurricane our pain
Does she wait,
- Her children
- Sought after
And we survive
So call me a pussy.
In fact, I think I'll write the word
- On my new poem book
- To remind me
- To be proud
- To be seen as
- The first time I got sober
Was the first time
In my life
One humid New Jersey summer night
Me and four guys from ‘the program’
Decided to break into a public pool
For a swim under the moonlight.
On our way through the woods to jump the fence
We were struck silent
By a swarm of lightning bugs.
A soft dark blanket of evergreen trees
Provided a backdrop
Blinking on and off,
Like flash photography in a packed stadium
It was miraculous.
A group of addicts
Awe-struck for a moment that expanded into eternity
A feeling we'd been chasing the whole time we were using.
Eventually, we got to the water,
I told someone I didn't know how to float
And they laughed as I flapped my arms upward
Trying to swim to the surface.
My friend cupped his hands gently beneath me,
Told me to trust the water and let go.
And I finally
What it meant to ‘surrender’
See you can't struggle
At the same time.
A few months later I received a letter from my Sponsor, Rose, about one of those friends,
Said "Greg OD'ed on heroine.
He's in a coma, in critical condition."
When I finally saw him again,
I didn't recognize him.
He'd grown in his sleep,
No longer the small boy I knew,
He was a man lying there,
But now it was from the atrophy,
Legs contorted under thin covers,
A feeding tube like an umbilical cord,
His eyes were open,
He kept grunting and twitching,
I was scared to touch him,
But Rose started stroking his hand,
Talking to him...
- So I did too
It's Leigh Ann.
You recognize me?
I cut off all my hair...
Dreamin in there?"
And just then
He picked up a curled finger,
Started struggling to speak
Started streaming down his face.
It was like he was using all of his energy
To struggle out of the deep end he'd fallen in,
And fell back.
We left after that.
And he died a little while later.
And I wished I reminded him of the night I learned to float,
Wish I told him that I once saw a woman almost drown in three feet of water,
Flailing out of fear,
She couldn't hear the lifeguard yelling,
And I've heard of people drowning,
Passing out in bathtubs,
Unable to lift face to surface and breathe
And I saw my own frantic flapping
In the tears streaming down Greg's face.
See, I've spent most of my life running away,
In fetal position,
So afraid of my own darkness,
I let it eclipse me.
But at night…
Dark skies hold the moon like a womb.
And dreams only come to life in closed-eyed surrender,
And fireflies only light up in the darkness.
The first time I got high,
I thought I found
What I was missing.
Allowed me to teach children to catch lightning bugs
Outstretched gentle hands
Coaxed them to land
And showed them
In child's eyes
As they watched flourescent lights blink out and in
And then took off
And I knew
I was witnessing
I got 12 days sober today.
Lucky enough to remember Greg's story without having become it,
My soul being birthed
Like the sun
To a new day
And I only hope
I still know how to float.
- He’s a warm body in a cold bed.
He’s a dream of love
In a life
That’s become blurred
In a whirlwind
Of naked bodies,
He distracted me with romance
Until the inevitable disappointment returned me to myself.
The grief I’m afraid to feel leaves an open grave inside my chest
So there was nowhere for him to fall
Buried by a confused undertaker,
Loneliness has become my closest lover.
Silly Cinderella Story nightmares haunt my daydreams,
Disillusionment knocks on every cracked window in the castle
But I’ve outlawed funeral rites for princes
Scar tissue is so much stronger than smooth skin.
I miss love like home.
3000 miles away from the last time
Someone touched me
Like they gave a shit
Another disappointing affair
Packed up with the garbage
Keeps wrapping itself inside smiling liars
If I’d never known love,
I wouldn’t know
What I was missing
Desperate grasping for the past
In the present
Chains the future
I’ve fallen in love at first sight too many times to count.
I swallow infatuation like a drug,
Addicted to my imagination
Too stubborn to be swayed by the impossible
The Earth must shake from beneath me
My last breath taunt my lungs
Grasping the edge of my death,
I gasp back to life again
My bed doesn’t have guardrails
But rainbows are created in quartz crystals when they crack from stress.
I would have fought for him like gathering my pennies
To pay for fountain flicked wishes,
One by one,
Dreaming for him with each bit of copper
Sunken under ripples
Of childish faith.
Never got past the bent corner on Page 5,
A few words from the abstract stumbled from my tongue
But he never put his feet up
Spent a lazy Sunday
Never dug in
He was the grain of sand that invaded my shell
Scratched my tenderness
Until I formed a pearl,
So how could I ever complain?
With heavy hands I grab my shovel
And begin filling the grave left open too long,
Slowly making solid ground
For new love
To stand on.
I call my artistic expression "healing art" and my primary motivating force is complete freedom. I write, make art, and perform on stage to heal and free myself and others primarily. Secondarily, I present myself and my art to entertain and make a career for myself. In my opinion, one of the worst means of attack on freedom and democracy, comes psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually, in the form of a person enslaved by themselves, their brainwashing, their history, or their trauma. In order for society to be truly free, its people must be safe, healed, and psychologically and spiritually free, as well as, and of course, physically free from societal institutions and isms. My work is aimed toward these goals.
|Published in In Motion Magazine October 26, 2009