October 20–26, 2008: Lili Leader and Sean Jackson

week of October 20-26, 2008

Lili Leader and Sean Jackson

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here for submission guidelines

Lili Leader
mark5.36@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Lili Leader I live in a small town called Shelton in Washington state It’s about a two hour drive to Seattle from my driveway Writing has long been a friend of mine, but I’ve only just begun to explore all the shapes it can take I’m definitely an amatuer I was published in one anthology called “Voices” when I was in high school, but only because my father submitted something of mine on the sly He hasn’t let me forget since, so I am now looking at writing as possible side-career My heart is dedicated to psychology, however, and that is what I’ll be going to the Western Washington University to major in next year
Visit Lili on the web here: http://kneelingglory.deviantart.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2008, and owned by Lili Leader and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Ten Things to Tell Yourself in the Dark

I.

There are three-hundred and sixty degrees in a circle You are disgusting
depraved
and ugly in all but one of them.

For this reason,
avoid mirrors.

II.

Martyrs have to die, stupid Stop imagining how it feels
to be one.

Dead people don’t feel.

III.

Drawing hearts on every available surface
does not make you an artist.

Pain might, but that doesn’t mean
you should relish it
quite this much.

Put the blades
away
Your blood is
worth keeping.

IV

You are less than worthless
in most eyes and made of gold
in two

Ignore how cheap gold has become;
smile for him.

A flash of teeth might save you both.

V.

The “easy way out” is only easy for you,
do you want to be so selfish?

Saving $6,000 first
does not count, and
you know that.

Think about Wesley.

Think about his face,
shaved for the first time
since eighth grade Think about how mad
that made you because
that wasn’t Wesley; that
was some cold, old man
with fat hands, rearranging
your best friend to fit convention,
that was a circle squashed into a square
and you hated it Think about
what they’ll do to you.

Do you really want to be buried
wearing a designer dress
that the fingers of little African children
or Asian whores
or Indian widows
bled over? (fucking corporations
profiting from everything,
especially death )

VI.

Just because no one’s said them
doesn’t mean no one thinks them.

Wait, 
just one more day.

You’ll scar the kid
for life
if you off yourself the day
his guts finally take charge.

VII.

Listen to a wise man’s words,
and the way guitars are weeping
just for you.

This, too, shall pass.

Don’t ask yourself
into what Don’t ask yourself
when Don’t ask yourself
what if’s.

Just listen
and agree,
like children and their parents Forget you were ever rebellious.

Just listen
and agree.

VIII.

Remember grandma’s chocolate chip cookies
and ice cold milk
at 3 am.

Remember teaching your father
the difference between tampons
and sanitary napkins –
one goes inside
and one stays out,
okay?

Remember your sister’s solo
and the way no fourteen-year-old
in the history of middle school choir ever nailed
the high notes
like that.

Remember lightening striking Island Lake;
the way his lips froze below your ear,
the way his breath felt hot and wet
coating your skin
when wow escaped your mouths
in unison.

IX.

There are other ways.

It doesn’t have to end
like this
or
at all.

Please reconsider Or
stop thinking altogether
or
pick up a phone
and dial numbers until you hear
hello
or
find a church and indulge in comfort
you’ve lost the courage
to believe in
or
dig out the Ben & Jerry’s
and lose count of calories
for the day
or
anything
but this.

X.

Don’t say you’re sorry
unless it translates to
I’ll change
I’ll never come here again
I’ll do whatever it takes
I’ll read
and write
and breathe
in then out, repeat.

I’ll learn
to love myself
again

Sean Jackson
sean183@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Sean Jackson is a mental health worker, who often finds himself in the bell jar as well Sean lives in Burlington, Vermont, where he writes, makes music, and falls in love with sad, dark haired women He has a BA in English from the University of New Hampshire, and an MA in creative writing from Sydney University.

The following work is Copyright © 2008, and owned by Sean Jackson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Best Meal

I ignored the guests
who picked & cooked
the brussell sprouts
from my garden I didn’t plant them
but watched them grow faithfully Every night their tightly layered leaves
reached up, wide & wanting toward the sky
Upstairs, Ginger might have
been able to tell I was high on speed We made love
She was taking a night off
from her girlfriend
The guests left
the brussell sprouts fried
in the pan Seeping
and guilty in
the still warm oil
The weight of the smell was seductive I imagined my father on the couch
after dinner, the ghost light
of the television pouring over him
his cigarette burning in the ashtray
the smoke curling listlessly
& my mother away
nursing third shift for the
wealthy’s children at
Phillips Exeter Academy
my sister and I learning
new types of loneliness
in the living room

My lover fell asleep before
I stood in the dull electric light
of the kitchen
tasting the brussell sprouts
& remembering the guests Realizing my own harvest,
& my own neglects.


Dreaming or Otherwise

Every night there are fish The cast,
the weighty grasp of the bite
the catch
& always

The reeling in,
the wide-eyed gilly stare
& shiny hook lodged
in the fleshy throat of another The untangling of myself from everything.