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Options March 5, 2012: Nancy O Graham: Somniloquy Cycle - Different Kinds Of Marks


Nancy Oarneire Graham creates somniloquies, or recorded sleeptalk, by repetitively reading a short text—whether from a children's story, a work of nonfiction, or her own dreams—until she begins to fall half asleep. In the twilight state between waking and sleeping, known as the hypnagogic state, visions, half-formed thoughts, and stray words begin to interrupt those read from the page, opening a window onto this borderland.

And what does a comma do, a comma does nothing but make easy a thing that if you like it enough is easy enough without the comma. A long complicated sentence should force itself upon you, make you know yourself knowing it and the comma, well at the most a comma is a poor period that it lets you stop and take a breath but if you want to take a breath you ought to know yourself that you want to take a breath.
—Gertrude Stein, “Poetry and Grammar”

Stories are just words. And words are just letters. And letters are just different kinds of marks.
—Crockett Johnson, Magic Beach

So long as the words keep coming nothing will have changed, there are the old words out again. Utter, there’s nothing else, utter, void yourself of them, here as always, nothing else. But they are failing, true, that’s the change, they are failing, that’s bad, bad.
—Samuel Beckett, “Texts for Nothing 2”

the trees were witness
complete with joys and sorrows
seeing the immensity to measure and that heads are
only wound up once,
bristles waiting to depart or let fall to the ground
in the great limpness of sleep, perhaps dreaming
it's in heaven, alit in heaven.
—Samuel Beckett, "Texts for Nothing"

Nancy Oarneire Graham's somniloquy-based poems and prose have appeared in print and online publications, including BlazeVOX, Café Irreal, Chronogram, Eratio, Invisible City, New Verse News, Pindeldyboz, Prima Materia, Listening in Dreams (by Carol Ione), and Water Writes (edited by Larry Carr). She has performed somniloquies as part of the Deep Listening Institute's Dream Festival in Kingston, New York. Her chapbook, somniloquies, is available from Pudding House Publications.


Listen to this show:

Artist Track
Nancy O Graham  Comma   Options
Nancy O Graham  Fetters   Options
Nancy O Graham  Duck To Avoid Being Chopped   Options

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