Painted Bride Quarterly’s Slush Pile

The Skink, The Witches, and the Ghost of Tim Fitts

March 18, 2019

One of the things we love about our podcast is that it  brings together speakers from all over the world. Getting to see and hear Marion and Samantha is our main reason to love modern technology! 

The topic of discussion rotated around three poems written by Anne V. Devilbiss (apologies again, Ann!  Maybe it’s a nice thing that Kathleen saw your name containing “bliss?”  ). 

More about the poet: Ann V. DeVilbiss has had poems in BOAATCrab Orchard ReviewThe Maine ReviewPangyrus, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2017 Betty Gabehart Prize in poetry and an Emerging Artist Award from the Kentucky Arts Council. Via the Love in the Street project, Ann has a poem forthcoming on a sidewalk in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, where she lives with her partner and two perfect cats.   

It was a wonder how Kathleen was able to function normally after drinking enough to coffee wake up a classroom full of college students during finals week. In fact, she was quick to volunteer and took on the task of reading the first poem, “Spelled to Cultivate Gentlemen. 

Within this poem, there was one word that got everyone talking, “skink.” Everyone proceeded to “call up” Tim Fitts, one of our main editors, who was not able to make this recording.  We all assumed to know what a skink is, as he always refer to his Florida chidlhoodMarion went as far as to do an imitation of Tim.  They consense was if they have alligators, they must have these baby-alligator-like creatures as well, right?  

Overall, the poem was described to be smooth in its wording and calming to the ears. These “spells” worked on us.  

Kathleen reminded the audience about part of our editorial processVery few of our staff ever see these poems before they get to the table.  

Kathleen claimed her own  witch potential. She gave us chills as she described how lights sometimes flickered when she entered rooms (maybe she’s a ghost?) and the things she thinks sometimes come into fruition (or maybe she’s God? God is a woman, after all). Then, Marion was revealed to be an unintentional witch, which had us wondering if Kathleen and Marion’s friendship was a pure coincidence? 

Maybe our answer could be found in the book “Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive” written by Kristen J. Sollee, a suggested read by Samantha. 

Next up was “Spell to Begin Again” in which Marion described the techniques used by Anne as “f***ing brilliant.” 

We would like to interrupt this summary with a tip for our readers: Were you baking cookies, only to realize that you were all out of sugar? No worries! Just grab that molasses everyone has in the back of their pantries for no apparent reason and save yourself a trip to the store! (Ask Google if you don’t believe us.) 

Unfortunately, Jason had to take off early from the podcast. As soon as he left, Marion and Kathleen, proceeded to gossip about him. They joked about his stealing Kathleen’s satin pajama pants. However, Kathleen admits that his butt looked great in them and Jason must have known it too, as he shamelessly shared pictures of the crime. 

The next poem read was “Spell for Empty Hands, which was the last of Anne’s poems to be voted into publication. I guess those incantations really do work! 

To end this podcast, we would like to give a BIG congratulations to PBQ editors, Samantha Neugebauer and fellow poet Amna Alharmoodi for winning second place in the UAE for creativity in Literature We’ll share more details on that soon! 

Read on! 

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