Alina Pleskova and Emma Sanders are the creators of POETRY JAWNS, a Philly-based poetry podcast. Their goal? Discuss poetry outside the institution of poetry itself - in a way that's intimate, subversive, and fun. Thank you, POETRY JAWNS, for joining Apiary at our launch!
Alina Pleskova: i am on gchat INVISIBLY
my thing got cancelled
which is a whole separate lol
Emma Sanders: oh that is great news!
ES: did you know there is a podcast called Poems That Make Grown Men Cry
it is exactly what it sounds like
ES: "a selection of poems that haunt a host of eminent men"
ES: THIS is how they are gonna celebrate poetry??
new marker for a poem’s effectiveness: does it make an important man teary eyed?
i know, right???
also, their utter somberness makes me feel ever better about PJ’s irreverence/silliness
thinking bout poetry podcasts that already exist
and the space we could fill
paul muldoon and his terribly charming brogue, no1curr
AP: dude yeah, i was talking w/ thomson about this the other day
even the existing ones
absolutely offer some kind of ~value~
tend to be v dry & craft-focused
really doesn't do anything to alter the reputation of poetry or recontextualize it as like
something that has broader reverb in the world
ES: soooo true
poetry isn't just about the end product
it's a way to exist in the world
and be engaged w the world
AP: yessss, i mean
absolutely it's about the work itself, that's what it IS
but then what does that DO or what do we do w/ it
who is the person that made it
pls say dolphinately at least once more during our chat
brainstorm--ways to get septa poet as guest?
i will ride the trolley for a whole day and night if i have to
tryin to find him
AP: or find some other outlet who interviewed him
or we ask ON twitter if anyone knows him (tag account that tweets about him)
or or orrrrrrrr
we ride the trolley all day & night
ES: or both!!
AP: some combination thereof
ES: we can tweet on the trolley
AP: hahaha yes
ES: i continue to meet people who have encountered him on trolley
and it's always funny to hear who is like "woah that was rad" and who is like "oh my god he was like, saying all this stuff it was weird"
"why would my trolley driver be TALKING like aren't they just supposed to drive ugh"
“arent they supposed to be emotionless automatons”
ES: dude i love "Alina Pleskova here"
can u please start episodes like that
AP: what am i, a noir spy
ES: we are gonna be noir spies tracking down mike fuller
trenchcoats and shit
AP: just trenchcoats
nothing else on
ES: dude ive never tried that but it sounds fun
AP: also, re: conversation ~flow~
you know when you read interviews w/ some poets
or any artist/writer, really
where you can tell either the response was planned beforehand or somehow rehearsed
or it took place over email
everything is so neat, clever
AP: they quote like, lengthy passages from barthes or something & it’s like man, there's no way you just had that floating at the top of yr skull ready to go
ES: haha yeah, like it’s clearly been conducted via email
AP: if we can set up the whole thing in such a way
where that can be avoided from the get-go
ES: hopeful that we can get into good conversational flow
like everybody gets jazzed about SOMETHING right??
just gotta find that sweet/freak spot
i also still want playful recurring segments
excerpts of poems by celebrities read in finest POET VOICE (how can a sleep inducing murmur sound so self-important?? the wonders of POET VOICE)
compulsive close reading of eileen myles’ instagram
ES: i also hope that you and i disagree sometimes
i mean, i also want it to be natural. so if we agree, we agree
but it would be so boring if we were always on the same page
so sorry just ran to br
& then UPS guy was asking what my amethyst tattoo was
his daughter is an aquarius too, fyi
agreed on all counts!
dont want us to be sitting there saying everything is a luminous dazzling tour de force (& all those other awful blurb-y words)
i mean, shout what we love to high heaven but also
talk about what doesnt work for us
i think the way in which we disagree on thigns irl will totally come across in this, too
like when you lent me that mary ruefle book & i was like gah, wanted to love this as much as her other work but it didnt do it for me that hard
& you were like no way, theres a poem in there that made me cry
& then i went back just to reread the poem
made me even more interested, where i woulda otherwise written it off as something that didnt stick for me
also, this jenny zhang piece
ES: seemed to get a dec amount of tractions w non poets too, which i appreciated
i think it's hard to talk about poetry in an accessible way
and she does it so well
AP: kid you not that thing is up on another tab on my laptop
yes!! she writes for rookie
ES: "I guess that is what is so embarrassing about being a poet, that you might be filling the world up with more crap. That your pathetic little thing is not interesting to anyone but yourself."
AP: which i love bc teenage girls are like
such info sponges
such consumers of all types of media
if you show them poetry that resonates, theyll be devoted
AP: like if i had known when i was 16 that shit existed outside of plath/sexton
i woulda been so stoked!
dunno if you saw me post this yesterday or any supplementary comments but
(i didnt rly have many there)
the gist was
i totally was ready to dismiss it
ES: no i didnt see!!
AP: based on the women's magazine-y language in the beginning
even tho i hate being that way
femme stuff as unserious etc
but the poem picks up so much momentum
was real impressed
also like you said abt zhang's piece
ES: <333 “who galvanized in excitable need and microdermabrasioned took the lonely exit ramp on the nature, constitution, and forces of matter,”
AP: helluva lot of people had something to say abt it
a lot were just like goo goo this is such an overdone trope
i guess they meant in the way of "13 ways of looking at a ____" or w/e
but yea, all these people are like
GINSBERG SPOKE FOR A GENERATION
WHO IS THIS AMY NEWMAN SPEAKING FOR
THIS ISNT MY GENERATION etc etc
ES: ugh that to me a silly critique
it's such a different age
now we're terribly ~individualistic~
also it seems to me that the ‘voice of a generation’ label is retrospectively applied
and kind of a load of crap
AP: it's also like
i know ginzy was queer & everything but like
it's so funny to say
hey this white dude spoke for everyone
but anyone else -- anyone else
‘nooo they're not the voice of me’
ES: how much does it have to do with many a white dude's skill for shoving something out there with BRASHEST CONFIDENCE?
a white dude poet just gets to be a poet
a female poet is a female poet
a black poet is a black poet
& on & on
i dont think all of the critiques were that way; some were just lazy
LOL ANOTHER HOWL HOMAGE LOL
ok, think of how many lolita homages were around before alissa nutting wrote TAMPA & totally flipped the script
AP: i see one comment in the entire thread that seems to be on this side
"Gender lines are being drawn. Though women could relate to Ginsberg, Newman's piece obstructs (or annoys: see thread) the male gaze. I dig it."
AP: youd think poetry readers are more careful
because, you know, poetry
the "annoying" thing is SO REAL
case in point miranda july
who's not a poet, obviously, but there have been so many reviews of her films and books by dudes that are just like, not sure why she bugs me but god does she bugs me!!
which is not a useful or intelligence critique AT ALL
ES: and i'd argue that the ability for a poet or creator of any sort to inspire such a vehement reaction in someone
THAT says something
esp when it’s a negative reaction but the critic refuses to try and understand why
AP: it's funny that it's never ever read as a deliberate persona
like how kathleen hanna purposely spoke like a valley girl
ES: such a good point
funny’s one word for it
it's never like, "it bored me"
it's, "she gets on my nerves"
AP: maybe she wants to get on yr nerves
how about that, whoa
like, examine why you don't like it instead of being like, ugh, she's incomprehensibly annoying
AP: it's like women aren't allowed to make you uncomfortable
in any capacity
ES: there's this implicit assumption that women are meant to please
or not rankle
and if she rankled you, she fucked up
AP: there must be something wrong w/ the work
ES: the ‘motherhood’ part of this !
"who considered the elevator’s speculum dilating her cataract radioscope telescope manifestation,
who listened to the TODAY show while she Kindled exasperated on an exercise bike in the new pink Manhattan Island 22.7 square miles of dawn,
who carried her infant in a baby sling she designed herself out of thrift store fabrics,
who wept because caesarean was a term for last resort, having felt cheated by the dictionary of the pain of real meaning and deliverance of child into atmosphere,
who anyway flamed ardent and breathless in illuminated swinging as she sang lulling smooth neurons already waddling inside the babygirl’s palimpsest brain,"
she's framing a cultural/societal critique
using this DELIBERATELY gendered language
people see the language & immediately turn off
i mean, i almost did it too
elizabeth scanlon said something like "...how much erasure is happening all the time"
when she commented on it, which i thought was v apt
ES: oh woah
tell me more about that
AP: she was talking about how the language tips over from kitschy
to no this is fucking real
^^ latter part my verbiage haha
ES: im so w you
"who stained the host’s linens mad crimson lipstick boy-crazy stigmata her animal flesh gash her crown of suburban thorns completely honest about need,
who sketched the body tangible medical painted portraits and lived inside,
who should have been on the road but for the uterus repeatedly renewing its lease convincing energy affirmative right honey that’s right honey right there,"
ES: gtg language rapture
AP: right?? let’s reconvene after we
get up off our fainting couches