Author Archives: Gray

About Gray

Gray is best known for crumpling up paper into a ball and throwing it behind him. This paper contains words, like a love note, or an apology (or both), the syntax of which he is never be quite satisfied with. He has fallen in love and apologized so many times that the living room and dining room of his apartment have become completely covered with paperballs. He refuses to carry them to the garbage, because he likes to be reminded of failure. There are enough paperballs to completely cover the entire floor of his apartment 5 feet deep. He has a fondness for jumping off of furniture and into the balls, swimming through them from one room to another. This activity reminds him of leaping into leaves in Autumn. Sometimes he writes love letters to the apology letters, and sometimes he writes apology letters to the love letters. Once the collection of paperballs reach the ceiling, Gray will be forced to rent another apartment. He will still he maintain the original apartment with the paperballs. He'll continue returning to it until he can discover the perfect way of saying "I love you, I'm sorry." See more of Gray's writing at graypoetry.com

Three Prayers – Gray

Gustave Dore 1870

Gustave Dore 1870


 


Dear God of Convenience,
Holy lord of microwaves and refrigerators
and the frozen meals born from them.

The savior of remote controls,
and air conditioning.
The most American of all Gods.

I worship you by waking up
and ignoring everything.
I’m fine with global warming
as long as my air conditioner works properly.
I worship you down the aisles of the grocery store,
a whole harvest at my grasp.
I worship you at the mall,
millions of foreign fingers accessorizing my wardrobe.

None of it is enough.  It never is, which is hard.  I don’t like hard things.
That’s why we put cushions on our seats.
That’s why we have churches.
Conveniently, though, the liquor store is too far away.

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That line is for you, God of Conveniece,
because when I can’t think of anything to write,
I just flap my stupid fingers against the keytop 
until I just give up completely. The truth is, there’s nothing more inconvenient 
than praying to the god of convenience.
We pray to be closer, but who has time to be close?
That’s why we have social media. Continue reading
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“YOU FUCKING HIPSTER”

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An analysis of rhetorical strategies used to define, ridicule, and delegitimize the hipster subculture.

 
I didn’t choose to be a hipster. I grew a mustache out one day, because it was the only facial hair that I could adequately grow that didn’t resemble pubic hair (my desire to grow facial hair is a much longer story). I wore a fedora because all other hats messed up my pompadour. I enjoyed brightly colored clothes because too many of my friends in high school were goth, and I didn’t want to be labeled a goth. Honestly, I’ve never wanted to be labeled at all. I have spent ridiculous amounts of time in thrift stores rummaging through out-of-fashion clothing so that I could wear something that defied categorization. My inability to afford clothing from a department store, also contributed to my style choice. I searched out music that was fresh and new because the radio played the same music so incessantly to the point of torture.

Then, one day, the culmination of all the activities I enjoyed were labeled “hipster.” I didn’t know exactly what this meant, but reading the context in which it was used, it seemed reviled. The most common adjective used alongside the term was “fucking,” such as “You’re a fucking hipster!” While I denied being anything, I found myself analyzing the term. Having previously attempted to be a part of the punk subculture, I searched for qualities about myself which makes me distinctly hipster, just as studded jackets, mohawks, energetic music, and vague antipathy we though made the punk subculture. I found various similarities between the hipster and punk subculture, especially in how they are, or have been, portrayed in pop culture. Both possessed an aversion to capitalistic materialism (at least punk did before Hot Topic). Both decreed an alternative lifestyle. Both yearned for their particular “authenticity.” Both are derided and shunned by mainstream culture. Continue reading


My Old Friend

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My old friend, Depression,
comes over, sometimes,
on the weekend,
stays until the next Wednesday.
makes himself comfortable,
looks over all of my writing
and tells me its garbage,
makes fun of how short I am,
says my life is going nowhere.
I would ignore him if I didn’t think
he had a good point.
He’s not as bad as you think, though,
Depression is actually quite happy,
especially when the joke is at my expense.
He has a sense of humor,
like a child with a pack of matches.
I try to get Depression to go out
to a bar or something,
but no one at the bar likes depression,
all of my friends think that 
he is a bit of a downer. Continue reading

DMC Mixtapes Vol. 3: A Playlist For the Occasion of a Funeral

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1. “Hallelujah”Jeff Buckley (lyrics by Leonard Cohen)


This is a classic song to listen to when you have recently experienced a loss. While there are many other versions of this epic song, Buckley delivers this rendition on a transcendental level in a way no other musician can, including the song’s creator, Leonard Cohen. Somehow, Buckley’s voice is able to navigate the difficult dichotomy between glorious praise and mournful reckoning in a manner that is befitting the loss of a friend or loved one. The dulcet tones of the solo guitar will mesmerize you into solemn reflection of your moments together, the joy s/he brought, and the absence s/he now leaves in your life. The length of the song is adequate time to meditate upon your loss, take a couple shots, open a beer, and rest your mind.

2. “Hallelujah”Leonard Cohen

While the Jeff Buckley version of this song is exceedingly good, it is important to listen to the original version by singer/songwriter, Leonard Cohen. Hearing the original version as the creator meant for it to be heard allows the listener to discern nuances and variance in lyrics and tone that aren’t represented in Buckley’s version. This practice of comparison will further mine the depths of your despair for any gem of sorrow that you might have missed in the Buckley version. The difference is immediately clear, as Cohen uses backup singers, a larger band, a chipper organ, and other production intricacies that make the song sound more like a lounge act. Furthermore, something about Cohen’s voice is creepy. Like back-alley creepy. Compare this to the simple solo guitar and vocals Buckley uses which really highlight the singular despair of your loss that deepens the overall bitterness which is the kind of mourning you are really striving for; the type of mourning that lets people know you are serious.

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Projected Class Schedule Fall 2003-Spring 2010

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Brian Gray

8/28/09

English 3510

 

Fall 2003

Rock Climbing – A beginning indoor climbing class focusing on climbing safety, top-rope belaying, bouldering, and beginning climbing technique. No prior roped climbing experience required. Attendance at the first class is mandatory.

US Government and Politics – This is a survey of the institutions and practices of the U.S. government with emphasis placed on political behavior and social conflict. Certain sections taught using service-learning.

Intro to Philosophy – This introductory survey examines the historical development of Western philosophy and philosophical problems concerning truth, reality, & values. The course introduces philosophical methods of inquiry and argumentation. Watch out for the spittle.

Intermediate Algebra – Prereq: Within one year, MATH 0990 with C or better or appropriate CPT or ACT scores. Linear and quadratic equations; inequities; polynominals; rational expressions; radicals; negative and rational exponents; complex numbers; linear systems; introduction to functions; logarithms; and exponential functions. The professor will be from the Czech Republic and very quiet. Furthermore, you hate math. You will get a B-.

Philosophy in Literature – Presents masterpieces of world literature as a narrative means of philosophical problems. Philosophical and literary methodologies are used for analysis of the literary texts. The professor will be a shy and insecure man who nevertheless will introduce you to the books that will change your life. Continue reading


Three Poems – Gray

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Exclamation Point

!.
The exclamation point
did not become standard
on keytops until the 1970s.
To express excitement 
using a typewriter
made before this time 
one must strike the period,
then strike the backspace,
then the apostrophe.

In the short amount of time
needed to execute this operation, 
one contemplates 
whether or not he or she
is actually excited.

2.
On modern keytops
the exclamation point 
is placed above the “1.”
To express excitement, 
one must stretch the right pinky
to hit the “shift,”
and then stretch the left pinky 
to hit the “1.”
 
When one strains their pinkies
as far from each other as possible
one reaching to a modifier key,
the other reaching 
towards the
the most singular number,
one must contemplate 
whether their excitement
is actually modified loneliness.

3.
I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
	-she types on her typewriter.

4.
I love you too.
I love you too.
I love you too.
	-I type on my computer.

 Continue reading