Dramatic tension in this episode, slushies! “There are no ties in baseball,” but what are the rules for editorial meetings? What happens when the editorial board splits? Do we flip thumbs, thumb wrestle, or rely on another voice to make the choice? Marion joins us from her “transitional liminal space” in the Marlton Hotel in NYC, while Kathleen and Addison call in from Drexel University, and Jason from his Brooklyn home. We launch into three poems by Sarah Best, an assortment of vivid, imagistic pieces referring to everything from sonograms, vanity, Truman Capote, and “coffee served in mason jars.” In the midst of such scenes, we talk regional accents: Warsh & moisturize—the morning ablutions. We discover that “Context” is king when we mistake the poet’s reference to The Master Builder in her poem “Extended Shots and Long Takes” (27:53) for a reference to a reality TV show rather than the Ibsen play and Demme’s 2013 adaptation, A Master Builder. And we delve knee-deep into the myth of Echo & Narcissus, the namesake for the poet’s second poem Narcissus (13:07). At the end of the podcast we fall into a discussion of the seeming rule-less-ness of Gaelic rugby, marvel at the size of rugby players’ thighs, and ponder the relative legality of edibles in Texas, finally coming away with the mantra: Exfoliate and Moisturize, slushies! Especially “inna winner time.”
At the table: Kathleen Volk Miller, Jason Schneiderman, Marion Wrenn, Samantha Neugebauer, Addison Davis
3:10 ‘Echo’ (which happens to be the name of Kathleen’s cat!)
12:27 Team vote
26:05 Team vote
27:53 ‘Extended Takes and Long Shots’
38:50 Team vote
Sarah Best’s poems have appeared in The Yale Review, and she’s an alumna of New York University. She’s an artist and writer who lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin with her fiancé Daniel and rambunctious tabby cat named Daisy. Her personal website is http://sarahbest.net/
Poetry by Sarah Best
except her bones and voice.”
I’ve chosen quilted combat boots,
for the waiting room today,
camo pants in a soft palette of grays,
an alert-red t-shirt
whose neckline gently scoops
around the anniversary necklace.
They’ve mailed a warning
to remind me to stay uncomfortable
when I arrive, not to relieve myself
because the discomfort creates
They’ve whispered a warning
into the phone’s empty voicemail box,
about how we can’t connect, and how much
this will cost me.
Underwater, light bends coolly,
conforms only to the curves
of sea caves, can sometimes
I think of this as I lie receptive
to transduction, to the waves they
send through skin
to find the pain.
They use echoes to unearth
the incendiary or inflamed,
to locate what’s wasted
and what remains.
“Leanness shrivels up her skin,
and all her lovely features melt.”
Narcissus lingers, sighs—
“How soft you are,” stroking.
In this daily veneration, I enlist
a stalwart humectant from the drugstore.
The timing circumscribed,
you must trap the shower droplets
with your thighs and breasts
and the small of your back
before they evaporate,
leave you desiccated.
On face and neck and chest,
Applied with equal urgency,
a French milk cream that doubles
as an eye-makeup remover.
But today, I flee Narcissus
to chase the line that springs
dispel the water freely
As I scrawl my back scabs,
a hoary crust of sea salt
burgeons like a thick second skin.
EXTENDED TAKES AND LONG SHOTS
Watching The Master Builder
the other day, I was struck
by the long stretches
of total unconsciousness
on the part of the main character.
Filled with long exposures of trees
and light, scenes shot on a train,
distract from his Faustian struggles.
On Wednesday night I’m seeing you,
I’ve got one foot here and here’s the other.
It’s too much to hope for pleasure.
How will I meet you this time? The break-
fast here is generous for a hostel.
The granola tastes like butter,
orange zest leaves a mark of hospitality on skin,
along with warming cups of coffee served in mason jars.
My copy of Truman Capote’s “Answered
Prayers” sits on a long banquette
next to a Chinese checkers set
and letterpressed shaker recipes
calling for Bourbon whiskey and Campari.
I’m still hoping to find a panacea
in this narrow morning window. Last time
I checked, your face wasn’t
less handsome, just less hospitable.
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