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Phase Shift

I feel buried beneath it all. The cold, the cracks, the ice. Stress cracks me; it leaves indentations behind. They can’t be shaped. But they remain parts of myself, my story, my water’s memory. So I move with them, my wounds, my words, my water. My being. 

I am not always ice; I am not always water; I am not always steam. I am always the shifts—limitless—in between. 

When I crack as ice, I flow through water; when I flow through water, I pick up steam; when I pick up steam, I become rain, then ice, then water. I’m not a phase; I am constant transformation. The potential: different matters, different headspaces, different states. Different states of water. 

I freeze, melt, condense, evaporate, sublimate, and re-sublimate. I shift states. 

Through and beside and with and in the states of water: the states of being. 

Shift, I shift. 

I am water. I am water.

I am water. 

12 comments on “Phase Shift

  1. julesquinto11 says:

    Gabe- this is a truly beautiful piece. I love the extended metaphor of the piece and the way all the words flow and riff off of one another. Reading it felt like the flow of running water. My question for you is: what made you choose water? What inspired you to write this? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. gcrone14 says:


      This is a question that I still ask myself, each and every time I re-read the poem. I suppose it was drawn out through drafts, when water kept returning in subtle ways: through dams, through ice, through heat. I wanted to combine all the best parts of the drafts, and the ideas I had writing the piece. So, to meld it all together, water worked; it fit all the pieces so nicely, and gave them room to breathe, settle, and flow. I suppose, too, that I was inspired by a speech I heard in my first year university, in Prof. Baus’ WRIT1700 class, entitled: This is water (by David Foster Wallace). The speech really opened my eyes to life after university, and about self-realization and transformation. This powerful water metaphor also kept re-occuring in different parts of my life, and I felt that I needed to express and share all I’ve learned with it!

      Amazing question! So glad you felt that the poem flowed!

      Can’t wait to give your piece a read! 🙂


  2. Stephanie Bell says:

    Gabe! – This internal examination of self through writing and a clear consciousness of writing process has culminated in a piece that’s beautiful, thought provoking, and a clear demonstration of the value of interdisciplinary thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. gcrone14 says:

      Thank you so much, Stephanie! I’m glad you enjoyed the peom and took so much away from it! 🙂

      I’m psyched (pun-intended) to hear that you appreciated how interdisciplinary it was! 🙂


  3. Emily says:

    This piece was so unique! I especially loved the line “But as ice, I don’t crack; I take shape, I sculpt.”

    Why did you choose prose poetry to tell this story? I found it to be such an impactful medium/genre, so I’m wondering what your process was behind that choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. gcrone14 says:


      This is a great question! I usually write prose pieces, but for this year’s symposium I wanted to challenge myself, try a new art form to really let my writing shine.

      So, throughout the drafting process, I read and re-read many pieces from last year’s symposium (including yours— a stunning poem— as well as Jam’s), and poetry spoke to me in such a unique way! I loved how each word and each break did something, made the reader feel and think a certain way. I felt so inspired from these pieces, and the art form, that I decided to give it a shot!

      Additionally, I suppose I’ve always incorporated an element of prose poetry in many of my past pieces: they always seemed to speak through metaphor and sound, and I felt that it has helped this piece become what it is now!! 🙂

      Thanks for this! 🙂


  4. Kate Kaul says:

    Great reading! And I love the way the water snip at the end of your piece sounds like water and applause at the same time — well deserved!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. gcrone14 says:

      Thank you! I didn’t even notice that the first time, but yes, it does!! 🙂


  5. Anisa Ali says:

    Gabriel, this piece oozes authenticy. I ready it multiple times and each time, a different sentences leaves my speechless. My favourite has to be “While others flow, I remain in my single state. Solid. Stagnant. Still and stiff.” I acknowledge your journey and resonate deeply with it! Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. gcrone14 says:


      Thank you so much for these kind words! That sentence spoke to me, too; I’ve felt so stuck sometimes in life that I didn’t see a way out. But now I know to appreciate the flow, the states, the changes, and the shifts. Thank you for your kind words! 🙂

      And I will definitely keep writing! Can’t wait to read your piece!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hannah says:

    Love how this turned out Gabriel, especially hearing you read it! I absolutely love this metaphor and I think a lot of people can resonate with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. gcrone14 says:

      Thanks, Hannah! Your piece was also STUNNING!!! 🙂


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