Leah Clancy is a poet living in Los Angeles. She is a cofounding editor of Potluck Mag and the future poet laureate of your heart. She's been previously published on Ohio Edit, Electric Cereal, FORTH magazine, in Funhouse Magazine & more.

1 poem by Leah Clancy

RUST BELT COUNTRY

let’s begin
taking to task
the gross shit
across the nation
and how I can disagree
with like
all of it
and still live here
this place
our dumb big amazing 
massive asshole little gigantic 
bloodbath island with other country above and below
sticky and silky, artificial and pretty
full of meat and cheese and cornmeal
no shortage of t-shirt novelties
discarded condom wrappers
or bubble bath packaging
tattered copies of I Spy in closing libraries
sex toys marketed en mass
marinated in lube
crude oil
motor oil
olive oil
poured out
by the gallon
big cars, little cars
almost all including seatbelts
but fewer have air fresheners
soda 
pop
it’s called 
different things in different places
just like any other drug
vending machines throwing up
nothing but junk
out of their fat blank faces
soup? chicken or beef
martini: shaken or stirred?
underwear: boxers of briefs?
or panties
or nothing
armpit hair
is a light suggestion
or but is sometimes thicker
macaroni salad
feeds the refrigerated craving
and day care 
is too expensive
but getting preggers
is totally free
public pools are either 
grossly overcrowded
or sorely underused
and nothing in between
big fields growing something
I’d probably eat
if I stuck around
in one place
long enough
to eat anywhere
anything 
other than
pancakes
bacon eggs
and makeup
parks are for everyone 
and health care is requiring a new kind of copay
called your literal right leg
insurance workers 
will absolutely insist on this
even though
it’s not them
who make the rules
schools abuse children
and also save them
and generally
that’s never happening at the same place nor time
people are killing themselves
and killing each other 
all in order
to find out
what it’s like
to live a little louder
there is always championing 
of the rebel spirit
whichever way
that might move you
and the status quo
provides visual cues
to who you can’t walk to
or wave at from your window
and backing your car out of the driveway in the morning 
or taking out the garbage
or napping on the sidewalk
next to the garbage
the thing is that there’s so much in this
so big-so weird thing
that by law
by contrast
by nature
the fact that any of it exists
is completely insane
it is nothing short of a horrible showboat
a regrettable miracle