It’s a beautiful fall day in the neighborhood, slushies. Kathy’s in love with the equinox, Jason’s in his bathrobe, Joe has a new porn name (“Brusque 80”), and Marion is in air-conditioned climate denial. (It’s always sunny in Abu Dhabi!).
We kick off briskly with three poems by Blake Campbell. “The right parts of the brain light up / for the wrong reasons” in Campbell’s “New Year” and our brains can’t stop sparking about the wonderful terribleness of a bad day. Editors spar over the poem’s potential meaning, threatening each other with Billy Joel lyrics, and delight over debating who’s naked, who is reinventing themselves, and who is caught up in a haunting season.
We turn to “Chicken Hawk,” a long, skinny poem that surveys gay nightclub goers from self-depecating “vulture’s” point of view. From the NAMBLA documentary to Death in Venice, from unrequited lust to line breaks, we found lots to discuss. We talk otters. And bears. And Orville Peck. Addison says it best: the poem puts us in the club.
“Dead Moonlight” is full of images that mesmerize-- and make us thumb wrestle. What lingers? What fractures? What moves you-- or moves through you? What makes us love the poems we love?
It’s a brusque ending, slushies, brusque. (Stay on til the end and give a listen to “At Pegasus” by Terrance Hayes at the end of the episode).
At the table: Kathleen Volk Miller, Addison Davis, Jason Schneiderman, and Joe Zang.
Blake Campbell grew up in a farmhouse in Pennsylvania and now lives near the sea in Salem, Massachusetts, where he works as an editor by day and a tour guide by night. He likes dogs and can tell a hummingbird from a hawk moth. His poems have appeared in, The Lyric, The Road Not Taken, and Hawk & Whippoorwill, among other publications, and his chapbook Across the Creek is forthcoming from Pen & Anvil Press.