Slushies! We’re excited to release this episode featuring three poems by Hillary Adler: “Did You Google that or Shake a Magic 8 Ball?”; “We Must Be Animals”; and “Letter to Erika from a Bench on Christopher St.” Recorded in the spring of 2020, our crew is well locked down but looking up, delighted to be poems together from afar. We’re down with “dirty words,” Slushies, and the ontology of the self, despite Marion’s broken thumb. It’s animality and the annoyingness of humans in “We Must Be Animals.” “Letter to Erika” brings the Big Gay Ice Cream back to us, and Jason talks about football while Marion tries to imitate Charles Bukowski, badly. Adler’s poems invite us into reverie, meditation, frank images, syntactical pleasures, and the challenge of sweetness.
At the Table: Jason Schneiderman, Kathleen Volk Miller, Addison Davis, & Samantha Neugebauer.
Hillary Adler is poet and journalist, and is currently the Director of Marketing for Topl, an impact technology company that enables digital and sustainable transformation across value chains and empowers the monetization of impact verified on the Topl Blockchain. She is from New York City, and holds an MFA from The New School. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Poetry Foundation, BuzzFeed, Rolling Stone and elsewhere. Her first completed book of poems, We Must Be Animals, has been in a drawer for over a year. Maybe one day it will see daylight. Until then, she can be found on Twitter and IG @HillaryAdler.
Did You Google That or Shake a Magic 8 Ball?
Emily, there aren’t a lot of feelings I feel that I don’t
Google to understand what they are or try to search
For self-validation & or even just random thoughts
Once I was in Beijing & kept trying to Google things
But it’s blocked in China BTW Baidu is a terrible
Search engine I don’t know what it’s good for
Maybe if I spoke better Mandarin it would be useful
But for now I will stick to Silicon Valley & Sundar Pichai
I can tell you that my recent search history includes:
Where should I move?
Will Biden win Florida?
Strategies for increasing net worth through mutual funds
Are my itchy eyes a covid symptom?
Is Janelle Monae a lesbian?
Drunk dialed the girl i’m dating
Things to know before dating a lawyer
What does love feel like?
How soon is too soon to fall in love?
Scientific signs you’re falling in love
Am I falling in love?
I can tell you that I’m still not sure where to move &
That Biden most likely will not win Florida despite
Michael Bloomberg’s billion dollar push to reverse
Felon voting disenfranchisement & I won’t bore you
With what I learned about mutual funds though you’re
Right, it is a steady way to build wealth & and no, itchy
Eyes are not a covid symptom but Janelle Monae is
A lesbian (I think) or at least bisexual & I found out
Nothing about drunk dialing a crush other than not to
(oops). Turns out there’s this chemical called phenyle
Thylamine & it’s the same chemical you find in chocolate
Which is why you can’t just have one piece & be satisfied
Which is why I can’t text you once & be satisfied or call
You once & be satisfied I want to keep texting & keep
Calling for however long you keep responding. It’s the
Chemical your brain releases when you’re falling in love
& I probably didn’t need google to tell me that i was or
That i think you are too, and when i told my friend she said,
“Did you google that or shake a magic 8 ball” and if i had
I would have shaken it hoping that it said “yes”
We Must Be Animals
I just walked by two feral cats having sex
next to four bags of trash & I was jealous
I want to be feral with someone just for once
in my life & not care who sees me
or even just get hot & naked into bed or out
of bed with anybody anywhere to be desired
& hear dirty words in my ear so tired of these lesbians
who just want to “make love” & sing lullabies I want the weight
of a man but not the look feel sound of a man is it too soon
to assume maybe I just want to fuck myself not masturbation
I mean myself beneath me because only I know what I want
how far does that narcissism go I’ve swiped left & left & left
on tinder bc the girlfriend still can’t decide if she actually wants
to be “The Girlfriend” or not I knew she was indecisive
when she spent two weeks trying to decide between mustard
yellow or sun yellow for her West Elm lounge chair she went
with mustard yellow & the first word out
of her mouth when it was delivered was ugh
& I should have got the other yellow
so honestly idk really I don’t even know
but also like which yellow am I & when
can I be as lucky as those cats
Letter to Erika from a Bench on Christopher St
I’m hungover today Erika this Big Gay Ice Cream isn’t doing anything good for me really I’ve gagged twice but spent $10 on a single cone so why throw it away what a waste it’s pride in the city & there’s glitter everywhere on the streets even in my bra there was no pride growing up in the mountains & I lost my virginity in the backseat of a red two-door Eclipse on the side of an overgrown country road in the middle of July to a man who later came out as gay & so did I we used each others’ bodies to make a statement for our neighbors who posted Marriage Is For ♂ & ♀ signs in their yards this was before Obama was President & before I moved to New York with a man & had two miscarriages & before I finally decided to give up the charade & before Donald Trump too & before I drove to Virginia for a wedding & stayed in a Front Royal B&B with my girlfriend where we sat by a fire with a bottle of Chateau Morrisette wine & walked the bridle path towards the AT I was surprised when nobody said anything about our hands or assumed we were best friends the other night during summer solstice the sun set over the skyline & while tourists grabbed manhattanhenge snaps while we had sex on a rooftop in Queens after too many cocktails & half a molly the man I lost babies with checked into a Blue Ridge Behavioral Center for his suburban addiction to heroin & still I was the happiest I’d been in years