Leslie Monsour


Two Complaints

In a Nutshell

Be wary when you hear “Long story short.”
It means you’re going to get the full report.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lay

“Remember that even though many people do use lay for lie, others will judge you unfavorably if you do.”
—Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

Why is it no one lies down anymore?
They’re always laying in their hammocks, or
Their beds. You don’t see pigs lay in their pens,
Do you? They leave the laying to the hens.



Arriving here is often an ordeal,
And leaving will most likely be the same.
Some seem to know exactly what to do;
Some wander blindly, wondering why they came.

Though not a place, it’s where all things exist,
Except perfection, which no one will find;
And when, at last, the lease is not renewed,
No forwarding address is left behind.

More clues: It starts and ends and has a middle;
The subject of this riddle is a riddle.

A native of Los Angeles, Leslie Monsour grew up in Mexico City. She is the author of The Alarming Beauty of the Sky and several chapbooks, including The House Sitter, winner of the 2010 Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition. She has received four Pushcart Prize nominations and a Fellowship in Literature from The National Endowment for the Arts. Currently, she is an independent scholar at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.