Recording of “Matthew in the Fountain”

In the Fountain 1999
Matthew, age 14 months
Matthew in the Fountain

(Recorded by Matthew Harper, April 17, 2018)


Inspired by my beautiful son (who’ll be turning 20 years old in June!), “Matthew in the Fountain” appears in my new chapbook, This Being Done — a culmination of years of work, and featuring Matthew’s gorgeous photo (below) on the cover — available for preorder purchase NOW and for the next 10 days from Finishing Line Press:

This Being Done, by Stephanie L. Harper 

This Being Done is scheduled for June 2018 release, but please consider ordering your copy before the April 27, 2018 preorder deadline, as my print-run will depend on the number of copies ordered during the preorder sales period. Your timely support will be crucial to my book’s successful release, and means more to me than I could ever hope to express!


13 thoughts on “Recording of “Matthew in the Fountain”

  1. Does your son read your poems?

    i think you read well. It is something i practice & have no idea how i sound to others.
    For reasons unknown to me, your voice doesn’t pair with how i picture you. i don’t know how i imagined you’d sound, but not like this. Dunno why, not at all haha. There is something interesting about our conceptions of people we speak to online. i can make a good guess about someone’s personality, but something like voice, gesture etc, is difficult for me to calculate.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha! I don’t sound like I think I should to myself, either! I have kind of a high voice, and every now and then a Wisconsin ‘o’ sneaks in there (presumably from my 9 yrs in the Midwest), even though I was born and lived in California for the first 18 years, my parents were from New York, and I’ve lived in Oregon for almost 20 years.

      I love your question about Matthew, too. No, he doesn’t ever read my poems out loud, though he seems to like it when I read them to him. He studies classical voice, and has perfect pitch, but he has difficulty with/concertedly avoids anything that feels too “emotive.” I tried to get him just to say hello on the recording, because I thought his beautiful, deep voice would add an element of wonder to the poem about him as a baby, but he was not into that at all, which is probably more typical for a guy his age than not, actually… Lol.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wouldn’t mind perfect pitch myself, luckily, unbeknownst to myself, i can bang out a tune with the aid of some mystical communion with the sonic arts, it all came from many many years of just fiddling about with a guitar & discovering where the good notes that go together are, much like a bird.

        Matthew is autistic, right? Does his autism sort of help him maintain focus, or work to his benefit at being good at so many things, i am curious & really don’t know how to talk about this, i really don’t want to sound rude, or assume Matthew couldn’t do the things he does if he wasn’t autistic. However, it just seems he is so good at so many things that i am curious if it has an influence on his genius.

        Feel free to put me right, tell me how to talk about this, as i have zero understanding through experience, but a great deal of curiosity, really through talking with you.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Daniel, I appreciate your asking about Matthew, and I don’t know about how other parents of kids with autism feel, but I really appreciate candid curiosity. I don’t have a clear answer to your questions as to whether the autism somehow informs or enhances Matthew’s aptitudes. He is amazing at observing and analyzing patterns in visual data, like satellite imagery of weather systems forming; and he can discern visual anomalies that the majority of people would never notice, or think to look for, like a single stray pixel in one frame of a video… He has the tenacity to stand still with his camera for like 8 hours as a thunderstorm moves in and dissipates, to capture a shot of a lightning bolt. He totally has the ADHD hyperfocus thing (likely inherited from me), which serves him well for his particular interests. He also has the ADHD difficulty with decision-making, initiating tasks, executive functioning while carrying out tasks, etc., which is probably how the (necessary?) cost of Matt’s “genius” manifests itself, along with trouble reading social cues and recognizing faces. Matt’s athleticism is somewhat out of the ordinary for someone with autism, but he has amazing spatial body awareness (as long as you don’t add a projectile/ball, or any sort of team strategy into the mix…), along with having been born with natural flexibility, strength, and a high need for vestibular stimulation (rocking, spinning, swinging… oy! which is what gave me the idea to put him in gymnastics classes in the first place), and his obsessive tendencies have kept him interested, I guess.

        So, to not really answer your question, I have no idea if Matt’s aptitudes and interests come from having autism, but I do believe that the autism makes it extra difficult for him to figure out a way to integrate his interests in order to even imagine, much less systematically pursue a career that would be rewarding for him in the long run. It’s still hard to tell whether and to what extent he’ll be able to be self-sufficient as an adult, but he’s learning and progressing all the time, and he’s very personable and kind once he feels comfortable in a given setting, so one way or another, I think he’s going to be all right. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    • You are the awesomest, Sir Robert. I don’t know what it is about the whole voice-sans-body thing, but it makes me feel a bit weird and vulnerable to share it like this. Still, since the sharing is the whole point, and the vulnerability factor is likely not for no reason, I’m glad it’s out there, and truly appreciate your sharing it, too! ❤


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