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Kellay Briggs

A Second to Prose

One day, I purged the cards, notes, and scraps of paper that you had ever written messages to me on. Then months later, weeped on my apartment floor that I didn’t have them anymore. That I could examine your writing. I couldn’t touch what you had touched. I had no paper to press to my skin that you had once pressed pen or pencil to. Sometimes I wish we still spoke so I could ask if you would think that was stupid of me. I desire confirmation of what I think you would say. In my heart, I already know you would....

A Second to Prose

One day, I purged the cards, notes, and scraps of paper that you had ever written messages to me on. Then months later, weeped on my apartment floor that I didn’t have them anymore. That I could examine your writing. I couldn’t touch what you had touched. I had no paper to press to my skin that you had once pressed pen or pencil to. Sometimes I wish we still spoke so I could ask if you would think that was stupid of me. I desire confirmation of what I think you would say. In my heart, I already know you would

I have missed you and I have loved you. I have wanted to hold your head in my hands and kiss the soft dark hair that grows there.

You have been a sore spot of inspiration. But my art is not of a critically acclaimed nature. It is not in respected journals. But it is seeded in the wisdom that we were not to be and still felt compelled to make it so.


Photographer Thomas Harris
Tell us about your work...

I would simply describe my work as emotional. I am deeply tied into it. Each one is an experience or a connection. Emotion is universal. It’s something we all share, but can be expressed or experienced uniquely. There is never not weight in something I write. Whether it is sadness or happiness. I feel everything very deeply, my work will always demonstrate that.
What kind of work do you love?

I love art/work that I have to sit and really ruminate on it. Work that I don’t understand with my initial introduction to it. I like to think and reflect. I think a lot of the time, this type of work is SO personal to the person creating it. It’s even better when it’s intentional. When the purpose of it is to make you draw your own conclusions. I’m a curious person and it’s exciting when I come across things I don’t have the answers to.
What are your biggest hurdles in being a creative?

Capitalism. Ha! But also pressure and timelines. I can’t set aside time to create, it has to come naturally. I’ve had people I’ve dated tell me “Write a poem about me.” It doesn’t work like that. It WON’T happen if I’ve been told that. My work comes to me in small doses and images flashing in my heads. I’m always shocked how words can manifest themselves to me all at once or over larger periods of time. It’s always the pressure that gets me. Pressure to create, perform, explain. I’m very stubborn.
When did you decide to move forward with your work?

I’d always written and just kept it to myself. When I first moved to Oregon, I was single, living alone, and didn’t know anyone in the city. I was in my head a lot and one day decided to share it on social media. The same day(I was feeling real brave), I found an open mic and read my work to a group of much older strangers. It was very awkward, but the response I got from friends was to keep sharing. It is something I love. I love sharing my work and I feel honored when others share their work with me. This isn’t something I’ll ever pursue diligently, because it will take all the enjoyment out of it for me. But I SO admire people who do, they inspire me to keep making art and to support other people’s art. Keep making art ya’ll!

When do you know that you’ve made something you are satisfied with?

When something I’ve made has touched something in someone else. I’m very grateful when people express to me my work has stirred something in them or they relate to it some way. The way I would describe the feeling in one of my pieces can be very different from someone else reading/hearing it. I'm so incredibly honored when I am allowed insight into how someone else experienced my work.


Just Add Fuel

It hurts sometimes
It’s ice cold blood that
Runs right up my neck
Resting behind the ears


You used to kiss that place
Right behind my ear lobe
With deep contented sighs
I felt safe and warm back then


My fingertips grow purple
I painted my nails red
Did you notice?
The color of Christmas
My favorite holiday


I stole 5 plants last week
Was it stealing?
It was from a corporate chain
Seems more like repurposing
They might all die
I can’t keep things alive
When they live inside


There’s an overarching
Need to seem joyful to you
I want to be relaxed
Eager to be available
But totally fine on my own
So, what do you think?
Does it appear I’m flourishing?


I’m on a rollercoaster ride
High when your name appears
Low when you disappear
But you’re a phantom person
I’d like to release you
But you’re already gone


I wanted us to be a steady burn
But you create wildfire
You’re already gone
I was just tinder
I couldn’t add more fuel


I can’t remember your smell anymore
You’re already gone
I’m keep trying to grab onto you
Its hard when you linger
I can smell and see wisps of smoke


Midwestern Seams


Giant monster kangaroo feet stomp around the scene
One of many ghosts who haunt these halls


One of the few you acknowledge
“When will someone come steal me away from you?
Come sweep me off my feet and carry me away


I dream of crisp white shirts
Cowboys buttoning the cuffs of their sleeves
I think of you in your youth
With your horses and toothy grins
You’ve reminded me of quiet springtime winds
Turned summer breezes that brush through high grasses


I think of embroidered eyelets
Seemingly delicate, yet they are strong accents
Holes that have been sewn on purpose
You are strong decor on Midwestern seams
Hair that blows in the winds that gets tangled so easily
Needs gentle hands to undo the masses that have collected
Fine strands that I can deftly unweave


Skills I’ve collected with little use for them
Except in quiet moments like these


Where I put my hands to use
Inside the haunted home of your lovers
You can’t bear to admit it but
You’ve made brick and mortar from this past


Silver tongues later collect in the basement
Howling dogs and bright eyed kittens
Bushy tailed cats and simpering puppies
Summertime love affairs never do last
This movie faded out with the first fallen leaf

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