Painted Bride Quarterly’s Slush Pile

Episode 73: Hornery Is as Hornery Does

July 31, 2019

Well Slushies, it’s summer, which means warm days and summer vacations for the crew, comprised of mostly professors and students. This time around Marion joined us in our homebase of Philly, and Samantha joined us from Portland, where she’s attending Tin House’s Summer Workshop.

In this week’s podcast, we discussed poems by Micheline Maylor. The first of her poems up for dissection was “Your Motto.” This piece made us think about the difference between caring and possessiveness in a romantic relationship. HOWEVER, before we could finish our conversation, we had a little surprise: a fire alarm went off a quarter of the way through our podcast!

Once the crew (all and well) were able to reconvene, Jason had had a haircut and Marion was in North Carolina, as it was 2 weeks later. However, we tried our best to continue right where we left off. It seemed the break inbetween veered the discussion, as our editors had some time to figure out some things that had tripped them up in our first conversation. (Is it just a coincidence that Mercury just happened to be in retrograde this time around?) (And who knew nice people like us could have such passionate feelings about teddy bears?)

“Your motto” reaffirmed for us that perception is everything, as many different viewpoints were concluded from the same event depicted in the poem.  For example, Jason was the only one reminded of the film, “The Daytrippers”, which he highly recommends. Britt described the poem as having “warm anger,” which became our favorite phrase of the day.

Next up was “(N)Ever Thought.” The most important question that presented itself from this poem was whether or not anyone used the word ornery anymore? If you don’t use “ornery,” would you consider using “hornery?”  (Listen to the episode and make “hornery” part of your lexicon!)

“(N)Ever Thought” was a reflection of “Your Motto,” as it showed us a another version of the same event. Kathleen HATES comparing two poems to one another as much as Tim loves to do so, but this time, we all had to agree that it must be done. Spoiler alert: we agreed on A LOT today!

The last piece, “She tells me,” was one that had our heads spinning. It caused as much disorientation in our crew as that fire alarm…but in a good, poetic way. We never get bored of creating metaphors about how we enjoy poetry, how we measure our own responses. Kathleen loves the metaphorical stomach punch, but Marion came up with a much more elegant one: a poem should feel like a great wine and leave you with a satisfying taste in your mouth (or something like that).  We do recommend that you do NOT try drinking wine and getting punched in the stomach simultaneously!  But, tune in to join the head-spinnin’ and thumb flippin’!

Now, it’s time for the final recommendations: Sam and Kathleen urge you to watch “Book Smart,” a relatable, coming-of-age drama that had them wanting to watch it again half way through. Kathleen called it a “female-centric” movie reminiscent of Super Bad, but much better, and Sam said it was the first teen movie that did NOT make her feel bad about herself!

Until next time Slushies, read (or watch) on!




Micheline Maylor’s was Calgary’s Poet Laureate 2016-18. Her latest poetry collection Little Wildheart (U of Alberta Press) was long listed for both the Pat Lowther and Raymond Souster awards. She teaches creative writing at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary.




Your motto


I told you once I love you, if anything changes, I’ll let you know.

                                                                          -    John Wayne



I couldn’t stay faithful after New Year’s eve,

all those aggressive philosophy majors and tequila’s shot.

You and me like the stuffed bears in our son’s room,

propped up in corners, staring, neglected, a bit dusty.

What was to be done after that party? All my switches

flipped, a fuse box shutting down. Click by click.

Time to wrap it up, kids. Last call. Last song.

And I’m sitting here in my corner now, hearing you say,

“What’d you want me to do, punch the guy?”

No. No. No. I wanted you to love me so hard,

that he never asked if I would go home with him.

I wanted you to love me, but you were too busy laughing.





(N)Ever Thought


I’ve been having home-wreck dreams of you.

I’ve got an inside view from our big window.

This is a metaphor, of course, not manufacture, yet.

We stay shrouded in a cloud of disaster.


Dust in the loader bucket, the ideal view ruins itself.

This dream is all I could pull out of the dark.

A toothy, wild punk drunk at the controls.

I get ornery when unprotected.


I’m the wife at the party guarded by friends

husbands who have more vigilant shoulders.

Some big bully wants me for his own.

You have such lovely smiling dimples when you watch.


Over there in the corner, you eye the trespasser.

He drives right into your marriage and you watch.






She tells me,


The toilet in the basement has belched up and over

its intestinal wreckage, drained-stained the floor

like a party goer dunked up and shaken sober.


In my new office, I’ve become the scapegoat

for my grandmother’s guilt. I’ve become a beacon

of success. I hardly pick up the phone anymore.


She tells of irrelevant relatives, things

I walked away from. I tell her, you taught

the art of dehydration. I was so parched.


Didn’t I tell you, I was a fern in the desert,

a plate spinner with thin skin and shoeless,

didn’t I warn you from the start?


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