For National Poetry Month in April, KWBU is highlighting four local poets to share what influences their work as well as how they entered into the medium.
Our third poet is Isis Lee.
Lee is a local musician, singer-songwriter and poet in the Waco area. She is the organizer and host of the Waco Poets Society and has been published in several magazines including the Stone Circle, Nota Bene and Bohemia. She has also performed in poetry slams and word competitions around central Texas.
More of Lee's poetry and music can be found below.
'A Trial of Explanation' by Isis Lee
I stopped writing and I can’t remember why exactly that is.
I always had such freedom here in this form finding myself
when in all other forms I felt lost.
But not ever in this could I fall prey to that kind of uncomfortable exposure
Being naked on the page was freedom
Even in my raw and unhidden eloquence
I was able to explore every bit of myself without any shame
So lately I’ve begun to wonder, ‘Why now?’
How come suddenly I’ve developed this inability to explore that wilderness
That radical jungle where words and wisdom serve as time machines.
Ever wandersome in this our own self-exploration and explanation.
I wish I could explain why I ever departed
from this one true form of being and have it actually make any sense
But it feels rather like sacrilege to try to rationalize it at all
See nothing is worse than going against the truth
The level of dishonesty that one must obtain to deny
the most elemental form of self-awareness is justly found in that experience
Of being a writer
My most humble and virtuous moments come from when
my body and mind connect as one through the use of words
Words on paper is an absolute way of life
that I have always perceived as precious as much as necessary.
'Dive Down My Way' by Isis Lee
She's the kinda girl you take out in public and
quickly realize you'd rather not be seen by
the kids at Headspace
Cool kids in fad thrash hipster cruise shirts and
killer faux leather jackets and denim cut jackets
Too proud to recognize the elevator music by rat
pack stars like The Dean
I spot the swell of thrift stop sniffs and cold
drawn out swagger in her presence and I recoil
as if instantly I'd be recognized
So the weasel in pimp skid row skirt rips into
my girl and flashes fast cash down the pin
stripped tip smack-back that he unleashes like a hound,
and the smell of whiskey fingers brings me back down to cool
playing blues two rooms over
No need to rustle up feathers so a calm replaces the look
of casual remorse with soft smoke muddled
murmurs that sound smooth to my new honey
so she dives down into her breast
pocket and lifts out a sweet
nicotine kiss that's supposed to
replace all mention of what the word no means
to a guy like me as I rush past the exits and sneak her
kitten clutch bag intothe back of my cream leather cruiser
with the other pieces of the last few days
binging on stale smoke and waste
land liquor passes as we careen down
Highway 69 with the idea of free men,
as the sweat thickens on the beads
of my throat and I know in the morning
she will be gone
replaced with the sweet illusion of freedom.
'The Truth' by Isis Lee
'Echo in Time' by Isis Lee
I have not skipped in fields of grass
Or ran my hand along the side of beauty.
For in my youth I found rebellion in my glass.
As I sipped and swam in its deliverance.
Time served to seduce ideas of youth
To alarm passion and to bleed for all lust.
I relied on blurred vision to decide fate
And hurried along to delay my oblivion.
Dreams were left enchanted by the day.
And as I awoke to not a single whipser,
It was the cold that came to great the day anew.