Leslie F. Miller’s sexy and daring debut poetry collection, BOYGIRLBOYGIRL, will be published this spring by Finishing Line Press. In Leslie’s own words: “The collection is about the boys and girls we know. It’s about the boys and girls we are. Betsy Lerner, literary agent and author, calls it, ‘anxious, angsty, and full of longing.’ She says that in my best poems I find ‘the loneliest knife in the drawer and [sharpen] it.’ Richard Peabody, editor of Gargoyle, calls my poems ‘arty’ and ‘electric.’ My daughter likes this book, too, though she thinks I’m a little weird.”

To pre-order by March 5th, and help determine a hearty press run, please go here.

you’d expect a girl named penny
to keep a bright one in each shoe
but penny had a feather
blue-black spear that poked an inch
beyond the toe
made the teacher glower
speckled egg
in a world of white
could spell parasite
before the class could read
had dogs to eat her homework
but chose the crows
pages poked with three-toed feet
composition with pointed beak
math with funky white out
oh penny I loved you then
your mother’s rescued birds
all those feathers
on the checkerboard floor
black silk beneath our summer feet
frost white polish shining on our toes
I pocket what I find
but thirty years of pennies is a mountain
thirty years of feathers and still I cannot fly   

improper noun right out of the womb
always hitching over the side
of your swim trunks
to wag your thing at a girl.
jimmy, sweet, sweet noun
and never enough of you
like your Sunday morning offering
behind the church rectory—
summer’s possibilities ahead
ours all gone.
swollen verb
wrestling bra hooks and buttons
shaking everything loose
heart jacking.
you were born to drive the big rig
haul ass with lumber and tools
made to wedge dirt beneath your nails
hammer all the pretty girls.
you were always so good
with your hands.
twenty-two years
and my skin still remembers.
twenty-two years
you’re still under there.   

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