Letter to the Professors (after June Jordan)
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Dear Professors,

With some regret (not all) I write

to inform you my thesis has changed.

All fine the topics of the voice, and the sex

it becomes as we train it well,

or fatten vocal chords with needles

or by the rasp and sputter of burning paper,

But I have decided to write now,

instead of singing, or speaking, about

breathing. (Though maybe

whispering passes, broadly

speaking as my new object of study

—unaccountable death rattles or otherwise

capturable voices of dead subjects,)

However I will say, I considered the shout as well

—I'm sure you know just recently was the day

of remembrance, and there was the drama

between the former church, where dreary hymns were sung

low for the dead, so as to make their stillness at least beautiful

and outside at the Homomonument there were plenty hot

voices ragged in anger, for those dead too—ostensibly also

speaking as the dead—darkly to calm or brightly to

arouse our ghosts, and it would have been pleasurable

as much as a sex on fire, which is not to say

it would not have been a catharsis, but I elected

to stay inside and work on my abandoned thesis instead

—some regret!—

and alone on the balcony by the pigeons heard wind pulsate

my windows and my own arhythmic breaths.

(I thought of putting up a wind chime, which

besides wind perhaps would record the monotony

of shouting from those removed bodies.)

More recently I've also taken to wearing headphones

on walks even as my phone is dead. I find that

I hear the shuffle of my coat well against the worn

leather pads, which I understand to mean something

profound, on the order of language, all the same the wire

brushing on my hand, and my misaligned teeth

chattering softly with my steps and portending

the surgery I should one day have on my jaw.

All this should be good material to pin down

for my thesis, I believe you will agree,

as objects to restore order to or else capitalize upon

and as such render obsolete displays such as

those at the Homomonument recently,

I have also considered the manners in which my breath

or at least the sounds of my continued momentum

may have modulated over time, but I believe

I have begun thinking of this all too late for me

to have made any record of breath before,

Still I hope this can relate to active study of

the exhalations of corpses, I am

thinking something in re: Tokarczuk,

the wind over the villages and wet hills,

the gaze of the spirit stealing

through time. I spend moments on

Each rainy walk all wraith-like envisioning

these correspondences (via Outlook)

as well, anticipating and mapping grammar

and deepening the borders thereof

(I should hope this is not lazy of me

or otherwise an unbecoming approach

though all students do the same)

Yet regardless. You have been gracious

in granting me this unasked time

to pause and collect, as well as time

to breathe, naturally, so with thirst

I must ask for more graciousness,

if you would give it, such that I may continue

this thesis and conduct field research further

on the contours of air and

the shape of lungs as they compress or decompose (should I acquire a body)

or otherwise morph in aesthetic, topology, function, and desire that

this change to breath even unexpected could be

in accordance with the theory you have kindly imparted

during our many quiet and judging lessons.

Thank you again,

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