portion of the artwork for Marcia LeBeau's poetry

Marcia LeBeau’s Comments

I would say each of these poems came from a need to rebel against something. “This Ainít No Mad Men Pencil-Skirt World” was a backlash against commuting and then spending nine or more hours a day writing rhymes about facial tissues, but more deeply a treatise against my life at the time as an advertising copywriter in NYC. A job that was slowly sucking the life out of me. The poem started out as even more of a rant, then I cut a lot and referenced one of the greatest TV dramas of all time in the title, and it started to come alive in a different way.

“Ash Wednesday” arose from the experience of walking to the train station and seeing so many people adorned with crosses. In New York, many times the only way to survive is to close off your body, mind, and spirit from the chaos, but here on this one day of the year, you wear on your forehead a symbol of your faith. But are they really believers? And do we even have time to have faith when we’re so caught up in the rat race?

“The Inadequacy of Poetry Readings” was written immediately after a great local poetry reading I attended. I was so moved by the writing and performances that I wanted to tell the world to go to a poetry reading. I love to perform this poem at readings. It surprises people.

Here’s the long story behind “The Lost Yeses”: When I was first submitting poetry, I wanted the process to be less painful, so I tore up all my rejection letters into tiny squares and made them into a collage of big scripty “Yeses.” It was fairly cathartic. But then, with no acceptances and a big poster of Yeses staring at me, I started to get annoyed. Again, wanting to transform it into something positive, I decided to write a poem inspired by the Yeses and that’s what came out. It really took on a life of its own. So, basically, that poem came out of about 60 rejection letters. Thank you to those editors for not believing in my work; it helped. And many thanks to FRIGG for believing in these four poems.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 47 | Spring 2016