Poems and Texts

“My something” by Stephanie Gray

My something

Just beginning after Lyn Hejinan’s My Life and a phrase of Julian Talamantez Brolaski’s “the phrase becomes the thought”*

The phrase becomes the thought*
Feeling like what it is like,
what it is, like,
to write from thoughts*. See Eileen Myles on Avital Ronnell. I can only pontificate. Something being so-not-like what this theater critic said: silence is never empty. You didn’t know my 8th grade silence.

To narrate: I missed all those consonants. There’s a disconnect. How to narrate a disconnect, how to get in the connected, dis-sed. How to how to.

AEIOU and sometimes Y/why
21 letters to know. To narrate. To connect. To con-text-you(re)alize. How to narrate a silent E. How to bring that back to the PH flow? Phhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Fff/phhhh.

Who said consonants were good?
Why are all the vowels hogging the space. AEIOU who are you whowhowhowhwhowhowhowho. Quote The (you know) Who here. This isn’t Sesame Street delayed: F is for forget the diphthongs. J a total joke. It’s hard to see lips in that one.. M is usually marbled.

How to narrate sounds not heard but felt in your head,
if you didn’t hear it
but knew it
but felt it
but shook it
but did it:

3 top frases in reverb memory:
Turn off the lights!
Who do you think you are?
Don’t sleep with the transistor radio on and waste electricity!

Yes, I was not going along with it.

How to narrate if it’s always past? What (w)hoops are you jumping through? Far out or close together. How to dive into consonants and swim in vowels? Above ground pools or murky lake beaches that are easy to get to from your town. Rip tides. The cliché is the deep end. The sister cliché is the shallow end. To know what will be said about this: don’t go off on the deep end (with consonants.) Don’t be shallow (with vowels). And the other ways around. Don’t jump in the shallow end, you’ll crack your head open is the refrain of parents everywhere. Don’t go in the deep end if you’re sure you don’t remember your swimming lesson! How to enter your name if it’s a breath? If you stopped breathing, what to do. For a moment. What about a bck door. Or front door. Or side door. Which entry way. Your name wasn’t something given to you so how can you enter at all? Don’t stop believing, that is breathing. Don’t stop a feeling (more than). Can we take one break for a classic rock band, Boston? Or Journey. Or are these lines you’d cross out in the revision, the you-don’t-really-need-it-vision. How to capture what was on the tip of your tongue again and again. What does that mean to be endlessly on the tip of a tongue? On eternal memory or eternal forgetfulness? Eternal memory or eternal forgetfulness? Was it the cliché hope springs eternal, or Hope springs internal? Or hope springs external? Or hope springs in-thermal? How to go into inside out what! How   how   and   then /

Stephanie Gray

NYC-based poet-filmmaker Stephanie Gray is the author of Shorthand and Electric Language Stars and I Thought You Said It Was Sound/How Does That Sound? (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs 2015, 2012); Place your orders now! (Belladonna*, 2014); A Country Road Going Back in Your Direction (Argos Books, 2015); and Heart Stoner Bingo (Straw Gate Books, 2007). Her super 8 films have screened internationally and she often reads live with her films. Shorthand and Electric Language Stars was selected as a finalist for a 2016 Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry.

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