Painted Bride Quarterly’s Slush Pile

Episode 76: A Toilet in Denver or Florida is for the Fraught

October 10, 2019

A Toilet in Denver or

Florida is for the Fraught

On today’s episode, we realized that the sound studio needs some naked art! We never thought about it before, but after the Abu Dhabi team and Jason “showed off” about the art in their offices, we got jealous. Joe said we could BYOA, so we’re gonna. Stay tuned.

This got us right off on a tangent about Icarus, a sad one, as he apparently is outside of BMCC, warning students “not to aim too high.”  We had our first vote of the day and it was a loud and long “Booooooooo” re: the sheer meanness of its message.

We started with “Shops Like That” which immediately began a conversation on sense and syntax. Which lead us to a conversation of the image system of the poem, the descriptive scene, and whether this poem would have appeared in Fence in the 90’s (ask Jason). KVM didn’t tell anyone, but she loves the poem for its Wooly Bully reference.

We spent at least 15 minutes dissecting the piece, only to have our vote---end in a tie!!!!

We moved on to “Travel Light.” We were smitten by its sprawl and humor, maybe especially the couch catapult (you’ll love that image too). The poem is so dense, KVM thinks there could be chapters and chapters. And the tangent we went on with THIS poem’s was—toilets! (Listen—it will all make sense.)

The next poem we discussed was “Planet’s Climate Reversal.”  Spoiler alert: iguanas abound. You’re about to learn a lot about iguanas and to see an image that you might not be able to shake. You’ve been warned.

This poem doesn’t only have iguanas, now, it also has state mottos and led us on one of our two-hour journeys through the swamp lands, filled with rehab scams and Disney World factoids.

The poem gave us the chance to recommend “Dumb People Town,” the podcast where Joe Zang learned that all crimes committed in Florida must be publicly reported.

Stay tuned when the show sounds like it’s over to hear the crew respond to Addison’s silky smooth voice. And more after-the-show news: The poem that ended in a tie was ultimately rejected, BUT, the poem we didn’t get on air, “Egypt” has been accepted! Look for them all in Issue #100 of PBQ!


Alicia Askenase’s poetry jaywalks across the streets of American poetry casting a gimlet eye at every word she encounters. Undaunted, she juxtaposes her greatest joys and disenchantments through sonorous and rhythmic landscapes of unexpected insistence.  She confronts the world we live in with daggers and oyster forks, swallows it and returns it to the reader in covert scores.  For her, language is primary.  Meaning evolves organically from the stolen seeds she sows.

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