Poetry by Kate Gray
~homage to Brionne Whipstitcher, you sewed me a moth-fraught quilt, sloppy dropped squares, forgotten days when needles bore through baby nails, a childhood without a safety switch, Daddy isn’t supposed to do what Daddy does, and let me live screamless for twenty-eight years. Drummer, you drove the blue notes, smoke rings rising from Humpty-Dumpty’s teetering. Mother shut the door when she played Fats Waller, the piano crying more than she did, her pain the score she settled in our bones, what she ignored bored through. Mirror, Mirror, through your cracks, a picture flashed of what you hid, when the light slipped dusk-dimmed through dusty slats, a lover bent me backwards, sang her lip-quivering song, shattering the glass you capped on my cunt. I became whole, knowing I was rent.
Kate Gray’s first novel, Carry the Sky, (Forest Avenue, 2014) stares at bullying without blinking. Her first full-length book of poems, Another Sunset We Survive (2007) was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and followed chapbooks, Bone-Knowing (2006), winner of the Gertrude Press Poetry Prize and Where She Goes (2000), winner of the Blue Light Chapbook Prize. Over the years she’s been awarded residencies at Hedgebrook, Norcroft, and Soapstone, and a fellowship from the Oregon Literary Arts. Her passion comes as a teacher, writing coach, and a volunteer writing facilitator with women inmates and women Veterans.