Painted Bride Quarterly’s Slush Pile

Episode 50: An Excuse for a Buffet

April 2, 2018

Love is in the air as the gang gets together on Valentine’s day to feature two poems by Emma Hine: “I Wake Up in the Painting by Rousseau” and “The Red Planet Counts Her Craters“. Tune in to hear the lamentations of several of our editors as they discuss Valentine’s day

Emma Hine is from Austin, Texas, and holds an MFA from New York University. Her work has previously appeared in Arts & Letters, Gulf Coast, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, and The Missouri Review, among others. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works at the Academy of American Poets.

Listen on and hear the fate of these two pieces! Let us know what you think about this episode on Facebook and Twitter with #MarsBuffet

I Wake Up In the Painting by Rousseau

                                                       This time
he, the sleeping figure, I, the lion,
my pupils round in their egg-whites,
                                        night-wind
                                                        angling his scent
dunewards. He has surprised me.
I never expected a human in the sand
                                         like a god fallen
                                                        asleep,
a bare-throated mandolin on the pillow
beside him. I smell the striped shoulder
                                         of his robe.
                                                        Don’t know
which path he took across the desert.
On the nightstand we keep a lamp,
                                         a vase,
                                                         a digital clock.
Beneath the blue walls I hold the moon
in my teeth and breathe on it, feel no
                                        devouring dread.
 
 
 

 
 
 

The Red Planet Counts Her Craters
 

 

The way Mars is bolted in place,
all she can see is the sky. She recites
red sky at night, sailor’s delight
until her atmosphere shimmers. She hopes
            that from everywhere else,
she’s visible, the brightest storm brewing
in this big wide sea. She converts sensations
into units of distance and units of force,
so that each time a body collides with her,
            she can add it to her catalogue
of impact: where, how hard, how long the tremor.
She lifts the oxide dust gently from a crater
and says asteroid at an oblique angle,
           seventy-eight miles across.
She does this just by feel. No looking.
Which might be why she so loves the probes.
When they land, she goes as still as she can,
so they won’t startle and unlatch. She wants them
          always charting her shoal plains.
When one enters her gravity too slowly
and bounces away, she wonders
what went wrong. She imagines it lost
out there without context, how it wanted her,
           couldn’t touch her, or stay.
 

Present at the Editorial Table: 
Kathleen Volk Miller
Marion Wrenn
Tim Fitts
Samantha Neugebauer
Jason Schneiderman

Engineering Producer: 
Joe Zang