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About Literature / Student John LeonardMale/United States Groups :icontower-artists: Tower-Artists
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John Leonard
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
"He is a gruff, ill tempered animal when he does not have to dry someone's tears."
-Jose Saramago


Current Residence: Indiana
Favourite genre of music: Rock
MP3 player of choice: Ipod
Favourite cartoon character: Eeyore
Personal Quote: "Be patient and tough. Someday this pain will be useful to you."


I told him to turn the emergency broadcast siren up loud enough to make my eyes
water with prophecy. Years ago, I told him that the weather would change and ladders
would grow slick with condensation. I told him about Yukon Jack and lawn darts, how to get
to second base and level ten. Now, when the music came back on I told him what I witnessed.

He dropped what he was doing and the car veered into a wire fence and then a pasture.
A swing set in the distance was too far away to impact the scene.  He popped the
cigarette lighter in and waited for it to glow red and didn’t offer me one.
The fur of his brow lowered into a geyser of smoke as he told me to get out and push.
Bad News
poem 14 school 
Back then, the woods behind the low income
housing. At night it was important to remember
people walked their dogs there.  It was the only place
where you couldn’t hear trains or the ghosts
of mothers calling their children home for dinner.  
My own mother told me to be home before
the street lights came on. That last generation.
The trees were carved with curses and initials,
overlapping years, until you couldn’t really read
anything except feeling. We went there because
the older boys  said someone was murdered there
at least twice a year. We kept on going.
A hole filled with condom wrappers and chewing tobacco.
Standing next to that, you could feel yourself getting older.
Virginity shame broke through our ranks as we coughed
our approval of the pack of Cheyenne’s that Buddy stole
from his sister. Then we talked about who would win
in a fight, and who could swim
to the other side of Lake Erie.  When conversation died,
someone always walked over to the edge
of the gorge and pissed over the side
before climbing all the way down.
Beyond, the road you deserve becomes the plastered sky
nobody can stand.  Even then, the world felt like a stranger sitting at the table.
The neighbors would spray paint the chain-link fence that separated their yard
from ours whenever you planted irises. Your anger couldn’t stop you.
But my anger and I are no longer seeing things through vermillion eyes.
When I needed to hate something, and my shoes weren’t tattered,
and I didn’t hunger for bread, light would filter in through your words
like an unopened window. You spoke the truth and sat still while I howled
at the sky like Grendel, while I spat copper and pretended to know pain.
You allowed me to find gratitude in my own empty space.
You showed me a force more reliable than gravity and foggy dreams.
I am still ungrateful every single day. Maybe only for a moment.
Maybe just until my face hits the sky. But knowing this keeps
the dust from settling.  You sit in my intestines and carve portraits of
my childhood there. If only so I remember it was better than I care to admit.
poem 12 school
Lorie might be in the other room ornamenting the memories of strangers.
On Thanksgivings she picks at her sparse plate and doesn’t stay for Euchre.
By the time she was my age, she had felt the kind of grief
which either makes you holy or haunting to those around you.
John, my only father, won trophies for being faster than other boys,
and better at throwing a football.  There was nothing that frightened
him except clouds of ospreys and the last cigarette of summer.
He married a woman who needed to prove to him
that he wasn’t good at everything. She needed him to suffer.
By the time they conceived my brother, he started to sleep around
with brown glass bottles and white plastic poker chips.
Everything was slowing down. Long after the divorce,
he met Lorie, my only mother, in a painted cave or maybe on a suburban train.
He was good to her then and always-
in memories that nothing before or after could ever replace.
poem 11 school
I've recently started looking for magazines to submit my poetry to.  I've been met by few obstacles but one is almost always reoccurring.  Magazines don't want to publish something that has appeared anywhere in print or online.  As you can imagine, this is quite an inconvenience to me because I usually post everything I write that I feel has any worth on DA.  A large chunk of my best work is in the book I self published as well.  This makes a years worth of work unusable to me and is fairly upsetting.  I'm assuming I could submit a piece after I remove it from my DA gallery but I really wish that wasn't the case.  Most of these magazines don't even want work you've submitted to your private blog.  I understand their reasoning but it's difficult to not share my work with all of you.  I value and appreciate your thoughts and feedback but I also want to make something out of my self as a professional writer.  I might have to start limiting my uploads on here if I can't find some lenient magazine.  If anybody has faced the same issue or has an opinion on this don't be shy.  Also, if anyone knows about any good magazines or online poetry websites that take submissions (and preferably are willing to pay)  let me know.

All my best,



Add a Comment:
cristinewakesuphappy Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
hey RussianTim! i just would like to thank you 
for reading a little poem called a girl is out of breath.
as one of my first watchers and one of my longtime (most) favorite poets here,
it's always special to have a poem of mine be :+fav:ed by you.
i noticed just now that we've both been here on deviantart for five years.
PoetryOD Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2016
Thanks for watching me :love:
spoems Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2015   Writer
Thanks for the read.
Liacri Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the favorite!
Leiika Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015
why such username? cheers
spoems Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2015   Writer
I appreciate the visit.
bedlamfornow Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015   Writer
Happy birthday to you! :party: I hope you have a wonderful day, John.
RussianTim Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Student Writer
Thanks a lot! I appreciate it! (Sorry this is kind of late)
darkallegiance666 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Happy Birthday!!!!!:iconhappybirthdayplz::iconwineplz::iconchampagneplz::iconflowersplz::iconballoonsplz::iconcakeplz::iconbookplz:

I owe you a note - rest assured that I haven't forgotten you & think of you with great good will & constant admiration of your most wonderful  writing gift/talent, my friend. :iconbouncyplz::iconjoyplz::iconcatdanceplz:
RussianTim Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Student Writer
Thanks for the birthday wishes.  I look forward to that note, but I know you have a lot going on so take your time!

All my best 
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