Kateland Leveillee

1.

To All the Boys

 

I cannot write like a beatnik

because I am not a beatnik.

I’m too late,

too pretty,

too appreciative of hygiene.

I cannot be a mynah bird.

 

Furthermore,

I am four years on the wagon,

so whatever brash and callous hands

that traded poems for commands

now only dream of being half the height

that Will S. Burroughs stands.

 

My point is this:

I am free and the red, hot,

hot, hot passion has gone somewhere.

I don’t have the luxury of dying

or going insane

or loving so much that no self remains.

 

I feel Ginsburg when I write my prose

I hear Howl when I feel morose

All of it says Live! Live! Live! 

 

So I do.

But not in shades I would have painted with in youth.

Not with strokes so raged they rip the page,

I have different things to say now.

I tried to die young, but

it was simply a choir with no rhythm.

 

 

 

2.

This Life

 

There is no version of this life

That does not end in my suicide

As beautiful as the pulleys

That pulled rock from the earth

The dust of your hands as you gave me an arrowhead

The night you looked to the moon and said you had three months left

How strange that must have felt

The thinning of your hair

The strangeness of your poetry

Sleepless contortion of letters I could have never put together

 

There is no version of this life

Where we speak our words in key

There is movement in places filling with blood

That came from the anger I felt

The dust of your hands as you hand me a flower

That I keep and dry and let define me

It dies by my hand or yours

The weeds overtake the garden

Soon the sun will disappear

I lose memory of a time when words were fireflies

 

 

3.

Happy Valley

 

The secret is to ignore

the most beautiful girl

in the room. She is not

crazy enough to keep

you on your toes. No,

 

Pick the one you need

to take medication for

go to therapy for

make amends to your exes for.

 

No,

Pick the one who almost

bares her secrets but never

really does.

 

Summer comes.

She lets others inside her.

You watch her as she walks

in front of you, stuck inside a story

you’ll tell someone someday.

 

Storyteller,

Close your eyes as she obliterates you.

You are mute.

There are no resolutions.

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