Jared Leising

Nominated by 826 Seattle

Jared Leising is the author of a recent chapbook—The Widows and Orphans of Winesburg, Ohio—and his poems have appeared in various Washington publications such as Pontoon, Crab Creek Review, Stringtown, as well as on Metro Buses and local radio. Jared has worked as a writer-in-residence for Ballard and Nathan Hale High Schools, and before moving to Seattle, he received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. Currently, he teaches English at Cascadia Community College, serves as President of the Washington Community Colleges Humanities Association, and is a volunteer at 826 Seattle.

826 Seattle is a nonprofit writing, tutoring, and publishing center dedicated to helping young people improve their writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students.

They nominated Jared because: “He’s a long-time volunteer at 826 Seattle who has tutored, taught workshops, and raised awareness and money for the organization—all while still finding time to write, publish, and perform his own poetry and teach community college students how to become better citizens/creative writers.”


Every Good Boy Does Fine

Hey, it’s just a piano, baby
Grand. Flat black Steinway
Years out of tune, sinking
Back into your rusty green—
House bathtub. Bobbing softly
On blueblood and drowning
Beneath a halo of grow-lamps.

Only it won’t
Grow. It’s deadwood: ebony
And elephants. It’s after eight,
You should be home by now,
But you’re caught in traffic, still
On hold, waiting.

Wet music drones and suddenly
Easy listening isn’t all that easy.
The pedals are down, softening
And sustaining. I know you hate
The way this sounds—you should
Have never quit taking
Those lessons.

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