If you look closely enough at a word, you’ll find it contains its opposite*

Stephanie Gray

What part of headbanger is pop song
What part of deaf is hearing
What part of hearing is silence
What part of silence is noise
What part of I don’t know is I totally know
What part of I totally know is, I don’t, really
What part of metal is soft
What part of soft is metal
What part of heavy metal is jello
What part of jello is jawbreakers
What part of loss is have
What part of have is loss
What part of the person I was is the person I is
What part of subdued is totally here
What part of totally here is over there
What part again is your crush is the so not like
What part of the so not like is the crush
What part of orange crush is frazzled
What part of frazzle is fizzled
What part of poetix states are mints
What parts of mints are mud
What part of tickets to poetry are roads to nowhere
What parts of roads to nowhere are keys to something
What part of keys to something is the jam of all jams
What part of jams of all jams is the wd-40ed number one lock
What part of Axl Rose is Bennie’s Jets**
What part of Elton is Axl
What part of Rose is weeds
What part of weeds is rose
What part, again is deaf giving way to hear
What part of headbanger is Mariah
What part of headbanger is Whitney )god bless)  ))sic))
What part of headbanger is Anne Murray
What part of headbanger is
                                  Foot  softly
What part of this is that
And as we all know, what part of that is your this.
Thank you.

Footnotes:
* After a line in Julian Talamantez Brolaski’s Phonosemantics and the Real
**Axl has said that it was listening to Elton John’s Bennie and the Jets as a young person that made him want to be a singer.

More by Stephanie Gray

Stuff I probably did and didn't

     After Tim Dlugos' Things I Might Do

I probably didn't tell you that the last
Line of your poem left me on a plane of
Movement somewhere between the best of pop
Culture and the longest break in your favorite pop song
I probably didn't tell you that the train is going to take
Way longer than you think and you were probably annoyed
I probably broke the moon in pieces with my night vision
Straining too hard to remember what I probably dropped in your inbox
I probably should've said what I meant.
You probably knew how my life didn't fix into
That theory box on your shelf, so I probably
Ignored you when you said hi to me near Mercer St
I probably left off the most important thing
But you probably didn't want to hear it
I probably tried to be a good New Yorker and
Work hard and play hard but it didn't work
Out that way, I probably just reverted back to
The Rust Belt mode—work hard, have it not mean
Enough to play hard or play at all. It's probably too hard to make
A dent for yourself in the Rust Belt. It's all probably said and done
Your neighbor knows what you did tomorrow and what was
Going on yesterday. Probably good too so you don't get in trouble
With the other neighbor. But they probably don't know that you could
Be in NY for a few hours and have something good and so life changing happen
To you it was probably a 360 for you and probably took
You years to come down to 180, probably, right?

Viewers may think that they can process it all

but they are fooling themselves, if there's a window open you might have a chance, if you hadn't all gone to Holy Name, if the world didn't change, if you only bent the laws of physics so much, if the tides weren't so strong on the Hudson, if you didn't have to go, if it wasn't a dream you still believed in, if that different kind of memory didn't take hold, if your muscle memory didn't steady you, if you didn't have orders you couldn't ship, if you didn't see what you saw, if the crawl wasn't always hungry, if there weren't celebrities in every sphere, if you didn't know all the criminals in the neighborhood, if nothing ever happened here, if it wasn't a country club, if there wasn't magic in actuality, if you didn't dislocate the phrase, if you didn't grind the blue sky, if it hadn't been a downward trajectory, if the shadow didn't undo itself, if you all weren't all on break, if everyone didn't shut down, if Canada wasn't in the escape plans, if the future wasn't sparkling with nostalgia