Painted Bride Quarterly’s Slush Pile

Episode 74: Drugs, Love and Cagelights

August 14, 2019

This week we welcomed a special guest: “busy writing lady,” poet and food journalist for the Midatlantic region, Tammy Paolino.

Headlining the discussion on poems by Kyle Watson Brown, were standing desks. Yes, the giraffe of desks! We talked about it all: Drexel’s lottery system for standing desks, Jason’s makeshift standing desk, and DYI portable desks being an indication for becoming the President of the United States and leader of the free world.

After desk-related helpful tips, we moved on to discuss the first poem, “Too Many Funerals.” This one had us floored by its “weird” (Jason’s word), syntax and word choices.

This piece prompted a diverse conversation on the term “junkie” and its evolution from a label to a condition. Then, to give you whiplash, the discussion switched to sunscreen. Usually, the only new member of our podcast meetings are the poets being discussed, however, this week we welcomed a special guest: “busy writing lady,” poet and food journalist for the Midatlantic Region, Tammy Polino.

Headlining the discussion on poems by Kyle Watson Brown, were standing desks. Yes, the giraffe of desks! We talked about it all: Drexel’s lottery system for standing desks, Jason’s makeshift standing desk, and portable desks being a qualification for becoming the President of the United States and leader of the free world.

After enough talk on these wooden objects, we moved on to discuss the first poem, “Too Many Funerals.” This one had us floored by its peculiar syntax and word choices. Moreover. our editors felt as if they were in a maze. Listen in to hear if we found our way out!

This piece prompted a diverse conversation on the term “junkie” and its evolution from a label to a condition. Then, just to give you audio and intellectual whiplash, the discussion switched to sunscreen.

Thank you, Marion, for taking the reins and attempting to steer us back in the direction of the actual poem. Unsurprisingly, we ended up in Ocean City, Maryland, despite her best efforts. (Look, we told you Tammy Paolino lives in NJ—of course the shore—any shore--makes sense.) Joe Zang, our outstanding sound engineer, helped us out in regards to nails and teeth, as well. Listen in and it will all make sense.

The second poem, “Cornerwork” also provoked conversation on drug addiction. Then, Jason tried his best to culture some of us “lazy Americans” on how the word “love,” used in tennis, ionderived from the French. The more you know...

The final poem discussed was, “Cagelight.” After reading the first two poems on drug-addiction, this one will surely have you a bit bumfuzzled on how to interpret it. (And you’re right, bumfuzzled is not a word---yet---but we’re trying.)

The editors of PBQ are curious: Why do some submitters remove their poems within days of submission? Should we point the finger at workshops? Or too many drinks at 3 AM?

Speaking of too many drinks, have you ever ordered something off Amazon at midnight and forgotten all about it the next day? And still failed to recognize the purchase once it arrived at your front door? If not, Kathleen will have to explain that one for you.

Slushies, please consider writing more poems with “conspire” in them, as per Tammy’s request. Also-if you missed the “Whitman at 200” events, make sure to mark your calendar for 2119!  Until next time, read-on!

 

 

Kyle Brown-Watson one of the grumpier baristas in Philadelphia. He has read poetry and fiction on stage for Empty Set Press and the Breweytown Social. He's contributed poetry to Yes Poetry and Luna Luna Magazine. Before that, he worked in advertising, software development, and heaven forgive him, television. He infrequently updates his newsletter Terminal Chill and is working on a graphic novel.

 

 

Too Many Funerals

 

My undertows are not the ones

I show you

 

Sheets of ice stained with salt and 

SPF 78 gunmetal grease runoffs

sucking back the xenon haze 

 

No shells

No towels

No balls of greasy dough

Not even the quiet closure

of junkie needles in you heel to

Mark the hours passing

 

that vanishing point

Where fingernails and

necks and teeth 

Conspire to meet,

Blind on February shores.

 

 

 

Cornerwork

 

I’d start with the fat veins

Work South

The empty weeping chirps of 

valves closing 

 

All the gaps and discs and tremors 

that make me

From tooth to toenail 

 

Black on carbon black

suspended in silence

 

The stupid red haze of your eyelids

and nothing else.

 

 

 

Cagelight

 

Sugarblasted doorframes

so light you can press and

 

Drop

 

To fly

in the space

where the boredom of

transit makes even a wander

into a magswipe

 

clogged-artery anonymity

of Mifflin streetlamps to rest

your face 

in bars and shadow they make for you

chilled and cold rolled and waiting for you.

 

 

 

 

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