Spotlight: Leah Tilly
It's time to shine the spotlight on an amazingly talented poet. I usually read the works of authors who are new to me for weeks or months before approaching them to be featured here - but, with this poet, I knew on Day 1 (of me reading her work) her poems would fit in well on my page and website. Leah's poems make me pause and think - and then I must read them again. The consistency (the excellence) of her work is rare and, as a reader and as a fellow writer, I appreciate it.
It is with great fanfare I share the poetry of Leah Tilly on the Jimmy Broccoli page today!
In her own words:
“Leah's first novel is a memoir that illustrates the life of a young hairstylist on the autism spectrum. She discovers that opioid substances fill the doldrums of failing in a socially demanding career. Over time she develops a severe heroin addiction and stoops to lows she never thought imaginable. Her writing is dark and often laced with cynical humor both in her book and poetry. Her sobriety has unearthed the same artsy, offbeat, character that she has always been, along with a desire to branch out and make connections.”
My Thoughts On Paper
I love Leah Tilly. She’s more like me than I am; being a mute between shameless infodumps. Unabashed by her lack of social boundaries as she revels in the aftermath, guffawing with comedic relief. She doesn’t know or care if she’s following the laws of grammar, punctuation or syntax, because to her, they’re all words that meld together to form valuable insights. Whether the ideas are cohesive or not, isn’t key. If her thoughts have been effectively translated into words on paper, that are well-received, then good. If not, fuck it. She’s naive but not too moon-eyed to quit her nine-to-five on a pipe dream. Writing is a pleasure inspired by an underlying desire to connect in one of the few ways that she can.
A poem about minimalism. I was homeless at one point; partly why I’ve adopted this ridged lifestyle:
Leave the suitcase And opt for a duffle bag. Even the lightest packed suitcase can feel like lead swinging from your hand in a windy blizzard. How much do you really need out of everything that you already have? Most needs are wants. Anything essential can be found cheap. Ditch all unnecessary materials: The dresses you love but never wear. Shoes. Accessories. Should you rid yourself of the extras, you will experience a different type of clean; Like when a snake sheds it’s skin. A more keen sense of self.
I love it dark, grimy, and visibly damaged: Falling apart. Crumbling brick. Disintegration. The patina of weathered paint on metal. The smell of rotting wood and decomposing rats. Floors that sink with each step. Tiles that split and crunch. Crumbs of plaster flaking off of the ceiling, and collecting in my hood. I used to sleep in abandoned buildings if I couldn’t make my friends 10 O’clock curfew. Now I visit derelict structures, and I’m surprised I hadn’t died then… Or now.