Kate Lebo

Every Beginning Wants a Good Place to Start


According to laws of ownership,
you’re homeless. According to virology
you’re hunted, sore-throated, snotty.
By psychology you’re understood
and spun out, an iced tire. In fashion
you’re an adopter, a crofter, a little black
smock of sleep.

Notice how roofs lift their houses into reason,
their stories into debt. How leather walks years
after the first bloody cut
and shoes say something faster about a man
than his wallet because you don’t
have to ask to see them.

Starting today, you’ll study the discipline
of what you don’t know
about what you don’t want. You want this
like the flu wants lungs. Today,
keep it simple when simple makes sense.
Don’t start with schoolbooks. Start
with breakfast.


Kate Lebo’s poems appear in Best New Poets 2011, Poetry Northwest, Bateau, and The Pacific Poetry Project, among other anthologies and journals. She’s an editor for Filter, a literary journal made entirely by hand, and the recipient of a Nelson Bentley Fellowship, a 4Culture grant, and a Soapstone residency. Currently an MFA candidate at the University of Washington, Kate hosts a semi-regular semi-secret pie social called Pie Stand whenever schoolwork allows. Visit Pie-Scream for more about Kate’s zine A Commonplace Book of Pie and other tasty treats.

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