Painted Bride Quarterly

Episode 69: Memories in Connecticut

Episode 69: Memories in Connecticut

Hello Slushies, new and old. Welcome to another episode of the Slushpile! On this week’s podcast, we will be discussing poems by Yumi Dineen Shiroma.  First up is a MEGApoem and no, we are not over-exaggerating. However, here at the Painted Bride Quarterly, we always go big or go home, so Kathleen took two deep breaths and jumped right into reading the first poem, “Welcome to Connecticut”. Immediately, we were quick to realize that even though it would be a difficult one to read for a podcast, it was oh so worth it.  Samantha compared this to the work of Tommy Orange and his book, "There, There." Marion recalled Middlemarch, and other literary works came to mind (if we can call The Omen literary?). This is a piece that took us into the mind of Yumi and its rhythm was “like a flood”. The crew felt as if the inner-dialogue brought them into a world of its own with memories so grand, we just want to stay in that moment, or literally-speaking, re-read certain lines to relive it.   This poem brought a lot of suppressed memories for our Tim Fitts, one of which was a terrifying flashback of a woman driving with a dog on her lap, while texting. The least she could have done was pick one reckless decision at a time, or better yet, just drive? All in all, this fun and humorous piece awakened a wide range of emotions in the gang, and even had Kathleen’s thumbs up from the moment she read the title. Listen in, to find out the direction of everyone else’s opposable thumbs.   The next poem titled “A Surfeit of Saturation and Light / Hungry Ghost,” smartly used nouns as verbs and vice versa. Our own music genius, Tim Fitts, also said that this poem had a perfect pitch, so who are we to argue with that!  Yumi’s second piece was consensually described as "weird without being goofy" and "smart without being pretentious.” Now that would make a million-dollar t-shirt!  It seems both poems dived into the subconscious of the gang because Marion was reminded of the time she was possessed by demon in Singapore. You just have to listen to get the details. Random yes, but after listening to this podcast, do you agree with Tim Fitts that people are going to start smoking again when the zombies come? In addition, how do they pronounce “water” where you live?    Yumi Dineen Shiroma is a PhD student in English at Rutgers University, where she studies the theory and history of the novel. Her poetry has previously appeared in BOMB, Hyperallergic, Peach Mag, and Nat. Brut, and her chaplet, A Novel Depicting "The" "Asian" "American" "Experience,"was recently published by Belladonna*. You can find her on Twitter at @ydshiroma.     Welcome to Connecticut, Land of Death and Rebirth   I had run through fields in white pants bleeding from the eye I recalled as I ran through the field in my white pants bleeding from the eye and you walked beside me your briefcase your flannel your messenger bag   Your spontaneous face your spontaneous face your spontaneous face where one won’t expect you are mine in the field in the valley in the valley in the tunnel spooled through your spatialized mind you are mine   as a tea-kettle whistles at the heat I love you tryna drink my cold brew in the window as you walk by and by and walk by and walk by in my cat’s eye shade in your shade with the tassel in her ear I am yours I run my virtual hand through her virtual hand   11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. do yoga stare at trees, location: trees. I grew so much this year your year gray hairs an evening fishing for eels in the creek a season overlays space the meeting of homogeneous empty and messianic times where time informs our time spent among any given spatial totality and you walk by the window and   #thinking about #revenge again she shreds the straw with my teeth the buttons done up to the neck like you used to do again the hand on my head the head- stubble (oedipal, stacy suggests)   conference next slide none of the backs of the heads look like you and a season overlays time like you in cambridge a casaubon like dorothea in rome a casaubon whose fits in the center for rare books and special collections prove non-fatal   the trick was throwing my phone in the compost moving on with my life in my arms and I walk ostentatiously past the window as you walk by the window in my new vegan leather freezing the air with my breath   gcal notification total knowledge project due today you have executed your total knowledge project with aplomb the crowd explodes tickertape and katy perry songs for him the king of the total knowledge project   breaking a dish on my wrist I watch from the kitchen your faithful wife and staunch the blood with the tapestry she weaves night in night out of my limited intellectual means with its warp of fact with its weft of I feel like   You fucking moron don’t you know I’m in love, walking you back and forth my fingers staining the window blocking the natural light this high noon I still cough at the smoke and the smoke still smells like you in my lungs bent over your total knowledge project (sign on the door a girl in a dress reading OMEN)   I love you as a tea-kettle whistles at the heat as a window won’t lock when the dust weeps in she allows the pipes to freeze and burst, changes the locks and you aren’t coming back recognizing neither my face nor my name I take the train   you once told me about your people their parlors and names their inhibitions how they questioned the wisdom of classifying even the seemingly non-sexual passions as libidinal   back in your stomping grounds welcome to connecticut land of death and rebirth says the wizened crone on the metro north stirring her coffee a yellow nail a greek key cup a fleck of krispy kreme in the fates she thought I would die before she saw rome she thought she would die before she saw rome she thought she would take you with me   I once told you about my people how they lacked objects to organize their lives their fucking a figure for interconnectedness a leftist poem writ in my blood just for you the object arrives with me and ends at last with me in the object- narrative (you called my name and it was the name of the LORD)   holden will walk me to class the day I can’t breathe because of my pollen allergy because I’ve lost you because she’d lost you sam would bring me a glass of wine in bed as he walks by the window he walks by the window he walks by the window you walk   I love you as you walk by the window and she loves you as I love the pills she swallows with wine to draw a circle of salt around my heart to keep you out like a mouth loves a lost tooth drooling blood I love   the way that she loves the pizza delivery man like the lost and found where he found her umbrella again between the storm that cold summer day I left it again again distracted by you   I saw her standing, drawing off her glove, standing contrapposto in her limited edition Doc Martens. I saw her standing in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I saw her standing before a red canvas, standing contrapposto. I said: She looks like the statue of Artemis. I desired to paint her as I would sketch a charcoal sketch of the statue of Artemis, I told her: You look like the statue of Artemis. We debated the merits of visual versus textual representation, their transparency, their potential for eloquent distortion, to reveal the truth of a truth that overwhelms truth with its canvas of red. I saw her stand.   I once told you about my people they were prophets all, burned in the brain the prophet who buries herself in new haven will rise from the earth in 17 years reborn reborn in the mouth of 2013   your name in her mouth like a cut like a cut like I always got lost in a city any city like the dreams of being naked or lost in my city I always got lost in the wrong metaphor like she always got lost in your spatialized mind in the box house and metaphor and the train and the train they claimed could only move one way         A Surfeit of Saturation and Light / Hungry Ghost   The foxes hold their wedding at the base of the mountain They wait for the rainbows to banner the sky For the rain to fall while the sun shines Their normative ideas about the future keep them yoked             to such couplings No matter what dreams they might have held for themselves Dressed in your finest you buy them two voles off their registry I catch the bouquet of narcissus, willow and peony You walk through a field in black and white             and you walk through another field in green             and one in gold   I love you a 29-year-old sprung fully formed             from the pit of a peach Charisma in your footsteps             and your heart so impetuous             and your eye flits along the fields of differing colors I stand every day on the New Brunswick train station platform             waiting for you Tapping my foot with a sound like water on stone You reproduce yourself exactly in each of your children My throat is too narrow for the hole in my stomach to be filled Which is why I need you, stepping from the train, clothed             in the skin of the peach   But you are a bad man Bumming around in the rice fields You are the fox in her house dress who sits by the window             watching the hens Your heart is full of peach pulp and fuzz and the fruit             around the pit is sour You are not the monk in his field of persimmon trees You are not the painter eating his blues Nor are you the blues or their valuable pigment You are a man who sprang from the pit of a peach I loved you while my hair was still buzzed with the #3 clippers I came to meet you, as far as the platform   The oni rifle through my desk for valuables They take $300 in cash, my ID cards They take my money to their castle in the sky I will grow older and you will grow older and the foxes will fuck             beneath the rafters of the porch You will fight the oni in the sky for me But I can also fight the oni in the sky I can climb up to the castle on the hill   You have met so many amazing people on this journey You have this really special connection with the fox             and the pheasant             and the monkey who stands, hand pressed to his silent mouth I press and hold my hand to my mouth I am biting the peach pit in half with my sharp fox teeth

Duration: 43 min

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