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Tag: Rodney Terich Leonard

Lord, Have Mercy: Don’t Go to Hell Cramped Up

Father, 1959

Daddy loads, cocks, & aims his gun.

Four young girls & their baby brother

trace the woods

by mercy of the moon.

Briar-torn legs bleed a simpler truth:

no enjoying June today.

Ever smiled an alcoholic into

burying his flask & bully?

Probably easier to patty-cake with the sun.

Son, 1999

He tongues the last cubes

of Johnny Walker’s twist & trick.

Sleep rinses his eyes yellow-pain clear.

Own pail to pull,

bobby pin headed toward the eardrum,

the clack of dominoes,

bones on the table.

The twenty-year deal:

sober hell & jail at fifty—

alphabets to learn, son uttered strangely,

swallowed whole.

Ghosts

to shotgun

again.

from Sweetgum & LightningFind more by Rodney Terich Leonard at the library

Copyright © 2021 Rodney Terich Leonard
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Domesticoustics

a. (1997)

Arrival at twenty-one

cocks his tam sideways.

Deep-freeze nod

to alley deacons & white folks.

Terry Derell

strums corduroy-gray

acoustics.

Chlora is his tiramisu—

he’s indiscriminate

pot & vodka-cranberry wise.

b. (2012)

Maria Inés

backhanded the hurt—

hyena-laughing.

Common shoulders

glittered for night-prerequisites.

Eye sockets

house sass-glass.

Her Louboutin’s are hers.

Jazz is novel nectar.

Moon-swayed—she’s absosucculent.

c. (1974)

Snatched from

tight-eyed scribble,

water boils,

china shards scrape,

white kittens meow.

What night is this, Rodney?

Amid jumbo pencils,

red satchel & Crayola,

candy corn & wide-lined,

pee-wet paper,

my mama’s teeth

sweep the linoleum.

from Sweetgum & LightningFind more by Rodney Terich Leonard at the library

Copyright © 2021 Rodney Terich Leonard
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.