13 Phrases #3: Alise Leslie

While browsing the blogosphere, I came across sister Alise Leslie. I became an instant fan of her poetry and have been following her work since. My third installment of "13 Phrases" features Leslie and I hope that you find her as talented, real and incredible as I do! Enjoy.

1. By day, I am an unemployed, newly laid off bum. But, a few weeks ago I was an account manager at a print company, and I hated it with a passion.

2. I write best when I am feeling "some kinda way," meaning when I am in a state of imbalance or can't pinpoint my exact emotion. Something about that state of limbo that gets my creative juices flowing,

3. When I find it difficult to complete a piece, I put it away. Then I do something that always brings me out of writer's block: I write about writer's block. It seems counter intuitive, but it works, and I have written some awesome writer's block poems and haiku.

4. Something that helps me recover from Writer's Block is -- besides the aforementioned writer's block remedy -- hanging out with artists. One artist that inspires me greatly is my blog partner in crime over at naturallyalise.blogspot.com. Many poems and rants have come from our random IM or face to face conversations. She's often my muse.

5. I starting writing because... as a preteen to fill the void of my latchkey kid, only child existence. Writing was/is a companion. Also, it helped me to begin healing a lot of emotional scars that I didn't know how to deal with.

6. I continued to write because truthfully, my always brutally honest and critical mother found something I wrote and thought it was the best thing ever, and bragged to anyone who would listen that I was awesome. And then after hearing that I started reading my notebooks and found that I really did feel the same way.

7. I will always write because it is the only thing I have genuinely felt I was great at doing AND enjoyed it as well. I have lots of skills academically and otherwise, but this is all that I had a love for.

8. If I weren't a writer, I'd be a mess, writing is the only thing that has gotten me through some of my darkest moments. When I couldn't afford therapy, my notebook and laptop listened...

9. The author who influences and inspires my work is [Nikki Giovanni]... I have an imaginary friendship in my head with Nikki Giovanni, she embodies so much much of what I want to be, that being: unapologetic, confident, genuine, and wise. I actually look up to a lot of the local poets/spoken word artists in my area, they are on the rise and I know they will be incredibly successful in their artistic endeavors.

10. The most important goal I have as a writer is to make it my full time job, not just a hobby or aspiration. I want to be able to state it as my occupation.

11. People who read my work are most likely to feel my passion and vulnerability. They will see the incredible confidence mixed with my doubt and uncertainty, the dichotomy of Naturally Alise...

12. My most significant piece to date is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child, can't do it, but here is a piece that is newer that shows my raw vulnerabilities about my artistic process and about love all in one poem is "scary @ me": http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com/2008/12/final-thought.html

Also a piece that is important to me is my scathing attack of BET, a lot of people appreciated me writing this piece and I was overwhelmed at their response to it when I perform it: http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com/2008/10/b-to-e-to-t.html

13. There is nothing more important than love. Sounds cheesy but I don't just mean in the romantic sense. The giving and receiving of love with friends and family make everything worthwhile.

Excerpt from Alise in Wonderland:

The Dictionary is Our Kama Sutra

Please refer to me as a sexy nerd....
Attracted to the utterances of the likeminded .....
I am enchanted by creative expression
... simply said words turn me on...
The foreplay of your witty banter nibbles on my ears...
Arousing me with adjectives
.....seducing with syllables,
Don't get me wrong: I do enjoy the emotions in your hearts ocean,
but best believe the size of your word power matters...
You penetrate me intellectually ,
And my mind wraps around you.
Expressing yourself in positions I never imagined.
The dictionary is our kama sutra.
Poetry is our candlelight.
You illuminate the deepest caverns of my mind.
Conversation is our bedroom .....
I am not intimidated by intelligence,
In fact I want to be immersed in it,
Inundated until I explode....
I scream out analogies and idioms...
I pulsate with multiple eargasms
And after you cuddle me new concepts...
Lightly stroke my face with similes
Protecting me in the arms of your prose...
And we slowly slip into a smalltalk slumber............

Contact Alise Leslie:

Email: naturallyalise@gmail.com
Website: http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com
Buy: http://naturallyalise.homestead.com/AliseHome.html

9 Engage in Discourse:

Luvvie (aka Queen IG) said...

YAYYYY!!!! Thats my eSis! She rocks my socks!

Mkay, I'm done hollering. But for real. I's proud of her.

GOODENess said...

I SAY WORD!!! can't type it loud enough...I heart Alise and everything of hers I have ever read has made me feel something...anything...everything...she is a muse to the amusing...trust...way to shine, moonbeam! SALUD!

and uh to the author/interviewer...I have added you to my favorites...giving people flowers for their talent while they are living is an awesome and benevolent effort...to you, I tip my pen!

Mr. Jolla said...

To the owner of this blog, you have just picked up a reader...me and Alise go back like chiropractors and bookbags...haha not really, but she's dope as ever. I really appreciated the format as well...I might interview myself and 'borrow' this interview template lol.

Elliot Axiom said...

This poet beautiful...in so many ways.

Ess Ay Vee Oh El Oh Yoo ESS said...


I love me some 'Lise like fat kids love pudding cup lids after they've made WASTE of the actual pudding cup(s).

She's the writer I want to be when I grow up.
And that process is scheduled to take place on the 37th of Nevuary.
See y'all then!

Phat Gurl Love said...

You'd better work! I aspire to be like you when I grow up! I'm almost there!

The Pretty Brown Girl said...

ePosse, UP!! That's my eSis right there!

I love Alise, and her work moves me like no other. I think her poem "Scary @ Me" is her best work. It came of something EXTREMELY silly, but she grew it up into phenomenal words that I, as well as many other, relate to in a very significant way.

I love you Alise and I am VERY proud!

eysqueen said...

in too many words
she's da bomb
in the middle of bagdad
during a secret war
after bedtime

yeah she's just that great that it makes no sense....

Me. said...

aww..that poem was bomb.

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