This episode is all about craft and connections: literary craft and professional connections. In the notoriously small world of poetry and creative writing, should editors recuse themselves from making editorial decisions? Things get wonderfully complicated when you know a poet— be it from grad sch
Upload Date: May 25, 2021
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This episode is all about craft and connections: literary craft and professional connections. In the notoriously small world of poetry and creative writing, should editors recuse themselves from making editorial decisions? Things get wonderfully complicated when you know a poet— be it from grad school, from a workshop, from a conference. Or from dressing up in potentially crass Halloween costumes. (Listen for further confirmation that Jason and Kathy are soul mates via their 90s -era matching Princess Diana getups, complete with steering wheel as accessory and pals playing paparazzi). In addition to the nuances of professional ethics in poetry land, we talk sonnets and the divided self as we discuss 2 poems by Charlie Clark. Clark’s archive of references ranges widely—from Death Grips to inept gladiators to the power of grammar and etymology to charm readers. At one point we’re making rock n’ roll hand gestures to indicate his poem’s caesuras; at another we’re mesmerized by the way Clark works within the confines of 14 lines right under our noses. If you like what you hear, Clark’s new book of poetry The Newest Employee of the Museum of Ruin will be published by Four Way Books later this year.
At the table:
Samantha Neugebauer, Jason Schneiderman, Alex Tunney, Kathleen, and Marion Wrenn
This episode is brought to you by one of our sponsors, Wilbur Records, who kindly introduced us to the artist is A.M.Mills whose song “Spaghetti with Lorraine” now opens our show.
Charlie Clark studied poetry at the University of Maryland. His work has appeared in New England Review, Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, and other journals. A 2019 NEA fellow, he is the author of The Newest Employee of the Museum of Ruin (Four Way Books, 2020). He lives in Austin, TX.
You can find him on Facebook.
The Beast I Worship
I light my torch and burn it.
I am the beast I worship.
—Death Grips, “Beware”
The beast I worship doesn’t blame
the tree for its lithe, expanding
glamour, yet beneath a sky full of blue
kingfishers crying tears from the tree
the placard with its Latin name
laid out in a lush calligraphy
and as many as he can reach
of the narrow green articulations of spring
starting to feel their way into the air;
before he finally takes leave completely,
the beast I worship climbs in and sets the whole thing
burning down. The beast I worship
offers meek relief. What sometimes feels like
beauty sometimes feels like grief.
Address To That Inept Gladiator Timorous
Supposing the Futility of Language as a Means of Protecting Oneself from Harm
Your armor amounts to the skin of some very large dead beasts,
yet you retain such glamour. If you don’t know the word,
that’s because the Scots hadn’t yet invented it. There wasn’t enough
enchanting mist strewn on even a rainy Roman summer morn
to veil the parts your opponent hoped to hack from you. Had there been,
had a cloud become the air around you, had you survived and done it in this way,
had the poets seen this and gone crazy, probably you still would have been
stuffed back into your cage, fed no more gruel than usual by the mulch-
hearted man who ran the place before next week’s show where he’d charge double
for all the people eager to see some new brute cut your meek gray swarm in two.
Pardon, please, these aimless suppositions. Did you know glamour
is only a corruption of grammar ? This proves nothing but the impossibility
of any word’s use to the dead. No word will build a door out of air
and let you step safely through it before it grammars shut.
Concerning the Awfulness of Audiences Across Time
Should you somehow fast-forward through millennia, it would likely be
the sons of paper-produc