Kissing (The Ultimate Gateway Drug)
By Leigh Spencer
You surprised me
I was reaching for my blouse
broadcast of my daily to-do list
tallying in my brain
Hand on my waist
I assumed I must be in your way
or there was a bug on me
but you turned me around
Planted me firmly in your path
the most marvelous, lingering kiss
that ever a Tuesday morning saw
Christmas way past
Kissing tentatively against my car door
parked in our friends' driveway
No one else left on the street
Kissing like spacemen
Each the other’s oxygen
Engulfed by deep night and stars
I wanted to drop you down there
On the asphalt moon
The mouth of your bachelor cave
Kissing in the doorway
Discarding clothes like petals
and snowflakes and stars and
bright leaves of
How much farther could I possibly?
Kissing in our back yard
Surrounded by friends
pelting puffed rice cereal
kids and dogs and light sabers
I have nothing left to want
Kissing you like that
this smiling mouth
how we got here
Well it had to be a love poem for Valentine's Day, didn't it? And this is one of the truest I know — utterly romantic and sexy whilst absolutely real, grounded in the details of reality such as the to-do list and the car door. I've loved Leigh Spencer's poetry since I first encountered it online a few years ago. She describes herself as a hobbyist poet (true of us all if our poetry doesn't earn us a taxable income) — but if we must have labels, I'd prefer to call her a brilliant poet! I wish she'd write a lot more poems than she does, but am glad to report she finally has a book coming out, her first poetry collection. She tells me it's called Tequila and Cookies, and that it will be released sometime in Spring of 2014. As she lives in Arizona, that'll be a Northern Hemisphere Spring — not long to wait.
In the meantime her poems are hard to find unless you're on facebook, where she posts them in her 'Notes', which her friends can see, and also in the closed poetry group Free Verse for Fun (which you can search and ask to join). They have also been published in high school and college literary journals, and in various online poetry sites, journals and blogs, but I found them hard to track down. I did find this wonderful piece, which fair knocks my socks off.
She also writes short fiction, and is working on multiple novel projects with writing partner and family friend John Hewitt. John also runs a website which used to be called Writers' Resource Centre, currently named Poewar, the Blog of John Hewitt, where Leigh and I first came across each other in his '30 Poems in 30 Days' challenge — after which I found her on facebook, and sent her a friend request with a message saying, 'I love a woman who's not afraid to say "fuck" in a poem.' (Need I add, she used it in a way that was poetically perfect.)
Since then I've come to know her as a passionate, hilarious and generous-hearted mother of two young sons, carer for rescue dogs, active community member, lover of extended family, cook extraordinaire (alas, too far away for me to sample her culinary creations) and adoring wife — as you can tell from the poem. Other family members, she says, include 'four dogs, four turtles and a big lizard.'
Leigh's poetry is often amusing, blunt, and sometimes vulgar, yet still manages to be poignant and accessible. Her writings are observations of daily life, filtered through an anxious personality, sharp sense of humor, and sometimes disturbing imagination.
Altogether irresistible, as poet and friend!
She sent me two possible photos to use, and I loved them both, so here is the other, with those beloved dogs.
Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders (usually their authors).