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letter from my voice


I am taking a performance poetry class with Daemond Arindell at Freehold Theatre. I am learning about the many voices that want to come through me. I am learning about where things stick inside of me, what is brave enough to be heard and what still wants to hide under the eaves. I am learning what it feels like to be witnessed in a non-judgmental, supportive way by my teacher and my peers and I’m learning about what brilliant, brave writing is out in the world.

I will be writing a poem from my own voice soon inspired by this one. Right now, I am a little scared to go there but I wanted to share this inspiring poem.


Dear Brian Stephen Ellis,

Stop being afraid of the world.

Your voice

P.S. Stop blaiming things on the insects
Stop blaming things on the scathing eyes of me
Stop blaming things on the sand, and money and the sun
remember that your stomach is outside of your body
and your heart is just mystery waiting to become color
You have tried to hide me in your eyes
the alarm clocks of your mother built from snow globes and
owl feathers
Instead, I learned to scream from your tear-ducts

I will abuse you until you claim me
Have you seen the inside of your lungs lately?
They’re covered in bruises
I’ve been ripping nightmares out through your larynx
like tearing sheets of wool from your ventricles
now, you cough up mobiles of twilight…

When you speak,
each gulp of oxygen
ancestors sacrficed to bring you to life
when you speak lift, the ships of ghosts
in your veins into thin air
when you speak, make the bell
of your throat the champion of blisters

Do not let the muscle shiners, and the pollen lipped
convince you that you are small
Do not let the greedtarians and the cocksafe
look down their easy answers to you
When you speak,
make the billows of your lungs
to the mouth of the atlantic
when you speak, whip your crooked teeth
into a savage halo
Bravery will never belong to the beautiful
Remember that you are a conduit of the wind
and admit to me that you can fly

I am the only thing you will ever truly own
I am your voice
and I am your only chance at freedom

~Brian Stephen Ellis

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