Get Lit Minute

Get Lit - Words Ignite

A weekly podcast focusing on all things poetic, poetry and poets. Each week we will feature a poet and their poem. We will be highlighting classic poets from our In-School Anthology, sharing brief bios on the poet and a spoken word reading of one of their poems. We will also be introducing contemporary poets from the greater poetry community and our own Get Lit poets into the podcast space. read less

Wang Ping | "Things We Carry On The Sea"
5d ago
Wang Ping | "Things We Carry On The Sea"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Wang Ping. She is poet, writer, photographer, performance and multimedia artist. Her publications have been translated into multiple languages and include poetry, short stories, novels, cultural studies, and children's stories. Her multimedia exhibitions address global themes of industrialization, the environment, interdependency, and the people. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, "Things We Carry On The Sea.""Things We Carry On The Sea" We carry tears in our eyes: good-bye father, good-bye motherWe carry soil in small bags: may home never fade in our heartsWe carry names, stories, memories of our villages, fields, boatsWe carry scars from proxy wars of greedWe carry carnage of mining, droughts, floods, genocidesWe carry dust of our families and neighbors incinerated in mushroom cloudsWe carry our islands sinking under the seaWe carry our hands, feet, bones, hearts and best minds for a new lifeWe carry diplomas: medicine, engineer, nurse, education, math, poetry, even if they mean nothing to the other shoreWe carry railroads, plantations, laundromats, bodegas, taco trucks, farms, factories, nursing homes, hospitals, schools, temples…built on our ancestors’ backsWe carry old homes along the spine, new dreams in our chestsWe carry yesterday, today and tomorrowWe’re orphans of the wars forced upon usWe’re refugees of the sea rising from industrial wastesAnd we carry our mother tongues爱(ai),حب  (hubb), ליבע (libe), amor, love平安 (ping’an), سلام ( salaam), shalom, paz, peace希望 (xi’wang), أمل (’amal), hofenung, esperanza, hope, hope, hopeAs we drift…in our rubber boats…from shore…to shore…to shore…Support the show
Tarfia Faizullah | "Self-Portrait as Slinky"
Oct 17 2022
Tarfia Faizullah | "Self-Portrait as Slinky"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Tarfia Faizullah. She is the author of two poetry collections, REGISTERS OF ILLUMINATED VILLAGES (Graywolf, 2018) and SEAM (SIU, 2014). Tarfia’s writing appears widely in the U.S. and abroad in the Daily Star, Hindu Business Line, BuzzFeed, PBS News Hour, Huffington Post, Poetry Magazine, Ms. Magazine, the Academy of American Poets, Oxford American, the New Republic, the Nation, Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket, 2019), and has been displayed at the Smithsonian, the Rubin Museum of Art, and elsewhere. Tarfia’s writing is translated into Bengali, Persian, Chinese, and Tamil, and is part of the theater production Birangona: Women of War. Tarfia’s collaborations include photographers, producers, composers, filmmakers, musicians, and visual artists, resulting in several interdisciplinary projects, including an EP, Eat More Mango. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, “Self-Portrait as Slinky”, featured in our 2022 Get Lit Anthology.“Self-Portrait as Slinky”It’s true I wanted             to be beautiful before                         authentic. Say the word                                      exotic. Say minority— a coiled, dark curl            a finger might wrap                         itself in—the long                                    staircase, and I was the momentum           of metal springs                       descending down                                    and down,a tension —the long staircase,            and I was a stacked series                       of spheres finger-tipped                                   again into motion—say taut, like a child            who must please                        the elders and doesn’t                                     know how, a curl pulled thin. I wanted to be            a reckoning, to tornado                       into each day’s hard                                   hands, that wanton lurching forward            in the dark, another                        soaked black ringlet,                                    that sudden haltingSupport the show
Daphne Gottlieb | "Sexy Balaclava"
Oct 17 2022
Daphne Gottlieb | "Sexy Balaclava"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Daphne Gottlieb, who stitches together the ivory tower and the gutter just using her tongue. She is the award-winning author of ten other books including the new collection of short stories, Pretty Much Dead. Previous works include Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in her Own Words, a collection of letters from Death Row by the “first female serial killer” to her childhood best friend. She is also the author of five books of poetry, editor of two anthologies, and, with artist Diane DiMassa, the co-creator of the graphic novel Jokes and the Unconscious. She has relentlessly toured coast to coast, headlining solo tours as well as appearing with Hal Sirowitz, Lydia Lunch, and Maggie Estep. She has appeared at SXSW, Bumbershoot, and LadyFest Bay Area, and her poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in more than 50 anthologies. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, “Sexy Balaclava”. Check out more poems like this in our Get Lit Anthology."Sexy Balaclava"I tried to rent the movieabout the protest,but the store didn’t have it.In the film, the underdog wins.That’s how you knowit’s a movie.They are passing a law hereto keep people from sittingon the sidewalk. Poverty is still a crime in AmericaAnd  I am looking more and morecriminal, by which I meanbroke, by which I mean beautiful.Holy. Revolutionis not pretty,but it can bebeautiful, I’m told.The protest was dull.There was no tear gasand there were no riot cops.Nothing got brokenand nothing got gassedand nothing got smashed.There was no bloodand the world was not savedso we went to the movies.In the film, people kissedat the end.The underdog won.That’s how we knew it was a movie,a pretty lie.Revolutionis not prettybut I don’t careabout looks.Set the dumpsteron fire. Breakthe windows.Don’t kiss melike they do in the movies.Kiss melike they doon the emergencybroadcast news.Support the show
Olivia Gatwood | “Ode to the Women on Long Island”
Sep 7 2022
Olivia Gatwood | “Ode to the Women on Long Island”
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Olivia Gatwood. She has received international recognition for her poetry, writing workshops, and work as a Title IX Compliant educator in sexual assault prevention and recovery. Olivia's performances have been featured on HBO, Huffington Post, MTV, VH1, and BBC among others. Her poems have appeared in The Poetry Foundation, Sundance Film Festival, Lambda Literary, and The Missouri Review, among others. She is the author of two poetry collections, NEW AMERICAN BEST FRIEND and LIFE OF THE PARTY.  She is the co-writer of the film THE GOVERNESSES alongside director Joe Talbot (The Last Black Man in San Francisco). Her debut novel, WHOEVER YOU ARE, HONEY, will be released in 2023. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, “Ode to the Women on Long Island”. Check out more poems like this in our Get Lit Anthology."Ode to the Women on Long Island"I want to write a poemfor the women on Long Island whowhen I show them the knife I carry in my pursetell me it’s not big enoughWho are waitresses and realtors and massage therapists and social workers and housewivesand tell me they wish they would have been artists“but life comes fast ya know?One minute you’re taking typing classes for your new secretary job in the World Trade Center and the next it’s almost overLife, I meanbut I kicked and screamed my way through it and so will youI can tell by the way you walkOne more thing—when they call you a bitch, say, ‘Thank you, thank you very much.’Support the show
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza | “A Guide to Reading Trans Literature”
Aug 22 2022
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza | “A Guide to Reading Trans Literature”
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Joshua Jennifer Espinoza. Her work has been featured in Poetry, Denver Quarterly, American Poetry Review, Poem-a-Day, Lambda Literary, PEN America, The Offing, and elsewhere. Her full-length collection THERE SHOULD BE FLOWERS was published by Civil Coping Mechanisms in 2016. Source This episode includes a reading of her poem, “A Guide to Reading Trans Literature”. See more of her work in our Get Lit Anthology.“A Guide to Reading Trans Literature”We’re dying and we’re really sad.We keep dying because trans womenare supposed to die.This is sad.I don’t have the words for my bodyso I’ll say I’m a cloudor a mountainor something pretty that people enjoyso if I diepeople will be like “Oh, that’s sad”.Be sad about that.It’s okay to be sad.It is sad when people die.It is sad when people want to die.I sometimes want to die but I don’t!I’m one of the lucky ones.You can feel happy about that.It’s okay to feel happy about that.Now pretend this is very serious:History doesn’t exist.My body doesn’t exist.There’s nothing left for you to be complicit in.It’s okay for you to feel happy about that.Now pretend I am cryingright in front of you,opening that wound up just for you.Now pretend you can feel my pain.Now pretend something in youhas been moved, has been transformed.Now pretend you are absolved.Support the show
Shira Erlichman | “Mind Over Matter”
Aug 15 2022
Shira Erlichman | “Mind Over Matter”
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, author, visual artist, and musician, Shira Erlichman. Her poems explore recovery – of language, of home, of mind. Her poetry book Odes to Lithium centers around her experiences with mental illness. Her picture book Be/Hold: A Friendship Book uses compound words to illuminate what is possible when we come together. Her work has been featured in Buzzfeed Reader, The Rumpus, PBS NewsHour’s Poetry Series, The Huffington Post, The Seattle Times, and The New York Times, among others. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, "Mind Over Matter", featured in our 2022 and 2023 Get Lit Anthology."Mind Over Matter"I tried. But mind over matter is a joke. The mindis matter. Someone’s unprofessional opinionwas to “relax” over matter. To sandcastle overwave. They aimed to clean up a murder scenefrom behind a plate of glass. It was my murder.Mine. As if I could possess the firegrief thatpossessed me. Wrestle the wind to the floor fordaring enter my house. But it’s just me downthere, gripping my shoulders, threatening myown heart. Have you ever seen the dark splitinto two peaches? Sickness is a lot like that.To the uninitiated it looks like fruit. Wise, shiny,certifiably cherry. Do you mind if I die while Isay it? Rot that my teeth met: my fault. Would itmatter if I tried while I died? Will you relaxthe coffin into the soil? If you don’t have bloodon your hands by the end of this you weren’tlistening.Support the show
Stephen Dunn | "Sweetness"
Aug 8 2022
Stephen Dunn | "Sweetness"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Stephen Dunn. He has worked as a professional basketball player, an advertising copywriter, and an editor, as well as a professor of creative writing.​ Dunn's books of poetry include Lines of Defense (W. W. Norton, 2014); Different Hours (2000); Local Time (1986); and Looking For Holes In the Ceiling (1974). SourceThis episode includes a reading of his poem, "Sweetness". See more of his work in our Get Lit Anthology."Sweetness"Just when it has seemed I couldn’t bear      one more friend   waking with a tumor, one more maniac    with a perfect reason, often a sweetness      has come   and changed nothing in the world    except the way I stumbled through it,      for a while lost   in the ignorance of loving    someone or something, the world shrunk      to mouth-size,   hand-size, and never seeming small.    I acknowledge there is no sweetness      that doesn’t leave a stain,   no sweetness that’s ever sufficiently sweet ....    Tonight a friend called to say his lover      was killed in a car   he was driving. His voice was low    and guttural, he repeated what he needed      to repeat, and I repeated   the one or two words we have for such grief     until we were speaking only in tones.      Often a sweetness comes   as if on loan, stays just long enough    to make sense of what it means to be alive,      then returns to its dark   source. As for me, I don’t care    where it’s been, or what bitter road      it’s traveled   to come so far, to taste so good.Support the show
Matthew Dickman | "Slow Dance"
Aug 2 2022
Matthew Dickman | "Slow Dance"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Matthew Dickman. Dickman is the author of three full length collections, All American Poem, Mayakovsky's Revolver (W.W. Norton & Co, 2012), and Wonderland (W.W. Norton & Co, 2017); and co-author, with Michael Dickman, of 50 American Plays (Copper Canyon, 2012), and Brother (Faber & Faber, 2016). He is also the author of four chapbooks: 24 Hours (Poor Claudia, Portland & onestar press, Paris, 2014), Wish You Were Here (Spork Press, 2013), Amigos (Q Ave. Press, 2007), and Something About a Black Scarf (Azul Press, 2008). SourceThis episode includes a reading of his poem, "Slow Dance.""Slow Dance"More than putting another man on the moon,more than a New Year’s resolution of yogurt and yoga,we need the opportunity to dancewith really exquisite strangers. A slow dancebetween the couch and dinning room table, at the endof the party, while the person we love has goneto bring the car aroundbecause it’s begun to rain and would break their heartif any part of us got wet. A slow danceto bring the evening home, to knock it out of the park. Two peoplerocking back and forth like a buoy. Nothing extravagant.A little music. An empty bottle of whiskey.It’s a little like cheating. Your head restingon his shoulder, your breath moving up his neck.Your hands along her spine. Her hipsunfolding like a cotton napkinand you begin to think about how all the stars in the skyare dead. The my bodyis talking to your body slow dance. The Unchained Melody,Stairway to Heaven, power-cord slow dance. All my lifeI’ve made mistakes. Smalland cruel. I made my plans.I never arrived. I ate my food. I drank my wine.The slow dance doesn’t care. It’s all kindness like childrenbefore they turn four. Like being held in the armsof my brother. The slow dance of siblings.Two men in the middle of the room. When I dance with him,one of my great loves, he is absolutely human,and when he turns to dip meor I step on his foot because we are both leading,I know that one of us will die first and the other will suffer.The slow dance of what’s to comeand the slow dance of insomniapouring across the floor like bath water.When the woman I’m sleeping withstands naked in the bathroom,brushing her teeth, the slow dance of ritual is being spitinto the sink. There is no one to save usbecause there is no need to be saved.I’ve hurt you. I’ve loved you. I’ve mowedthe front yard. When the stranger wearing a shear white dresscovered in a million beadscomes toward me like an over-sexed chandelier suddenly come to life,I take her hand in mine. I spin her outand bring her in. This is the almond grovein the dark slow dance.It is what we should be doing right now. Scrappingfor joy. The haiku and honey. The orange and orangutang slow dance.Support the show
Natalie Diaz | "Manhattan is a Lenape Word"
Apr 25 2022
Natalie Diaz | "Manhattan is a Lenape Word"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of Mojave American poet, Natalie Diaz. She is an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012.  SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem, "Manhattan is a Lenape Word". See more of her work in our Get Lit Anthology."Manhattan is a Lenape Word"It is December and we must be brave.The ambulance’s rose of lightblooming against the window.Its single siren-cry: Help me.A silk-red shadow unbolting like waterthrough the orchard of her thigh.Her, come—in the green night, a lion.I sleep her bees with my mouth of smoke,dip honey with my hands stung sweeton the darksome hive.Out of the eater I eat. Meaning,She is mine, colony.The things I know aren’t easy:I’m the only Native Americanon the 8th floor of this hotel or any,looking out any windowof a turn-of-the-century buildingin Manhattan.Manhattan is a Lenape word.Even a watch must be wound.How can a century or a heart turnif nobody asks, Where have allthe natives gone?If you are where you are, then whereare those who are not here? Not here.Which is why in this city I havemany lovers. All my lovesare reparations loves.What is loneliness if not unimaginablelight and measured in lumens—an electric bill which must be paid,a taxi cab floating across three laneswith its lamp lit, gold in wanting.At 2 a.m. everyone in New York Cityis empty and asking for someone.Again, the siren’s same wide note:Help me. Meaning, I have a giftand it is my body, made two-handedof gods and bronze.She says, You make me feellike lightning. I say, I don’t everwant to make you feel that white.It’s too late—I can’t stop seeingher bones. I’m counting the carpals,metacarpals of her hand inside me.One bone, the lunate bone, is namedfor its crescent outline. Lunatus. Luna.Some nights she rises like that in me,like trouble—a slow luminous flux.The streetlamp beckons the lonelycoyote wandering West 29th Streetby offering its long wrist of light.The coyote answers by lifting its headand crying stars.Somewhere far from New York City,an American drone finds then lovesa body—the radiant nectar it seeksthrough great darkness—makesa candle-hour of it, and burnsgently along it, like American touch,an unbearable heat.The siren song returns in me,I sing it across her throat: Am Iwhat I love? Is this the glittering worldI’ve been begging for?Support the show
Diana Der-Hovanessian | "Shifting the Sun"
Apr 19 2022
Diana Der-Hovanessian | "Shifting the Sun"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of Armenian American poet, Diana Der-Hovanessian. She is the author of more than 25 books of poetry and translations. Her poems have appeared in Agni, American Poetry Review, Ararat, CSM, Poetry, Partisan, Prairie Schooner, Nation, etc., and in anthologies such as Against Forgetting, Women on War, On Prejudice, Finding Home, Leading Contemporary Poets, Orpheus and Company, Identity Lessons, Voices of Conscience, Two Worlds Walking, etc. Among the several plays written by DDH, two (The Secret of Survival and Growing Up Armenian) were produced and in 1984 and 1985 traveled to many college campuses in the 80s telling the Armenian story with poetry and music. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem,  "Shifting the Sun", featured in our 2022 Get Lit Anthology."Shifting the Sun"When your father dies, say the Irish,you lose your umbrella against bad weather.May his sun be your light, say the Armenians. When your father dies, say the Welsh,you sink a foot deeper into the earth.May you inherit his light, say the Armenians. When your father dies, say the Canadians,you run out of excuses. May you inherithis sun, say the Armenians. When your father dies, say the French,you become your own father.May you stand up in his light, say the Armenians. When your father dies, say the Indians,he comes back as the thunder.May you inherit his light, say the Armenians. When your father dies, say the Russians,he takes your childhood with him.May you inherit his light, say the Armenians. When your father dies, say the English,you join his club you vowed you wouldn't.May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians. When your father dies, say the Armenians,your sun shifts forever.And you walk in his light.Support the show
Chen Chen | "Self-Portrait as a Wild Extrovert"
Apr 12 2022
Chen Chen | "Self-Portrait as a Wild Extrovert"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, 陳琛 / Chen Chen. How work includes Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency andWhen I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities. Chen is also the author of four chapbooks and the forthcoming book of essays, In Cahoots with the Rabbit God. His work appears/is forthcoming in many publications, including Poem-a-Day and three editions of The Best American Poetry. With a brilliant team, he edits the journal, Underblong. With Gudetama the lazy egg, he edits the lickety~split. SourceThis episode includes a reading of his poem,  "Self-Portrait as a Wild Extrovert", featured in our 2022 Get Lit Anthology."Self-Portrait as a Wild Extrovert"I have 600 dear friends.I hug each of themdaily. I never need a mintbut am always ready to offer oneor 600. I love & know a lotabout biking/baking. I love & knowa lot about Celine Dion,thanks to my mom, who is, if Iabsolutely had to pick one—butwho am I kidding, of courseshe’s my best friend.Once, every five years, I mightfeel a smidge of sadness.& when I do, I justsit down, maintaining impeccable,approachable posture, & breathe.I breathe like the very well-organized, very wall-lessad agency I’ve runsince birth. I breathelike breathing is my oldestdear friend named DaphneDaphne, whom I still call every nightbefore bed to say, You arean incandescent multiverse—don’t youforget it, & that neverfails to do the trick.Support the show
Leila Chatti | "Tea"
Mar 18 2022
Leila Chatti | "Tea"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Leila Chatti. She is the author of the debut full-length collection Deluge (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), on the longlist for the 2021 PEN Open Book Award, and the chapbooks Ebb (New-Generation African Poets) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors’ Selection from Bull City Press. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem,  "Tea", featured in our 2022 Get Lit Anthology."Tea"Five times a day, I make tea. I do thisbecause I like the warmth in my hands, like the feelingof self-directed kindness. I’m not used to it—warmth and kindness, both—so I create my ownwhen I can. It’s easy. You just pourwater into a kettle and turn the knob and listenfor the scream. I do thisfive times a day. Sometimes, when I’m pleased,I let out a little sound. A poet noticed thisand it made me feel I might one dayproperly be loved. Because no one is hereto love me, I make tea for myselfand leave the radio playing. I mustremind myself I am here, and do soby noticing myself: my feet are coldinside my socks, they touch the ground, my stomachchurns, my heart stutters, in my hands I holda warmth I make. I come froma people who pray five times a dayand make tea. I admire the way they doboth. How they drop to the groundwherever they are. Droppine nuts and mint sprigs in a glass.I think to care for the selfis a kind of prayer. It is a gestureof devotion toward what is not always belovedor believed. I do not always believein myself, or love myself, I am surethere are times I am bad or goneor lying. In another’s mouth, tea often means gossip,but sometimes means truth. Despitethe trope, in my experience my people do not liefor pleasure, or when they should,even when it might be a gestureof kindness. But they are kind. If you wereto visit, a woman would bring youa tray of tea. At any time of day.My people love tea so muchit was once considered a sickness. Their colonizerstried, as with any joy, to snuff it out. They feared a loveso strong one might sell or kill their otherloves for leaves and sugar. Teaismsounds like a kind of faithI’d buy into, a god I wouldn’t fear. I think now I truly believeI wouldn’t kill anyone for love,not even myself—most daysI can barely get out of bed. So I make tea.I stand at the window while I wait.My feet are cold and the radio plays its little sounds.I do the small thing I know how to doto care for myself. I am trying to notice joy,which means survive. I do this all day, and then the next.Support the show
Victoria Chang | excerpt from “Obit” [Blame]
Mar 18 2022
Victoria Chang | excerpt from “Obit” [Blame]
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Victoria Chang.  Her collections of poetry include Circle (2005); Salvinia Molesta (2008); The Boss (2013); and Barbie Chang (2017). Her poems have been published in the Kenyon Review, Poetry, the Threepenny Review, and Best American Poetry 2005. Chang is the editor of the anthology Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (2004).  SourceThis episode includes a reading of an excerpt from her poem,  "Orbit", featured in our 2022 Get Lit Anthology.Excerpt from "Obit" [Blame]Blame—wants to die but cannot. Itshair is untidy but it’s always here. Mymother blamed my father. I blamed myfather’s dementia. My father blamedmy mother’s lack of exercise. Myfather is the story, not the storyteller.I eventually blamed my father becausethe story kept on trying to become the storyteller. Blame has no face. I havewalked on its staircase around andaround, trying to slap its face but onlyhitting my own cheeks. When somepeople suffer, they want to tell everyoneabout their suffering. When the brushhits a knot, the child cries out loud,makes a noise that is an expression ofpain but not the pain itself. I can’t feelthe child’s pain but some echo of her pain, based on my imagination. Blameis just an echo of pain, a veil acrossthe face of the one you blame. I blameGod. I want to complain to the boss ofGod about God. What if the boss ofGod is rain and the only way to speakto rain is to open your mouth to the skyand drown?Support the show
CAConrad | "Glitter in my Wounds"
Mar 2 2022
CAConrad | "Glitter in my Wounds"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, CA Conrad. They write poems in which stark images of sex, violence, and defiance build a bridge between fable and confession. They are the author of nine books of poetry and essays, including their latest book JUPITER ALIGNMENT: (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals (Ignota Books, 2020) and While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books). A documentary about their work, The Book of Conrad (Delinquent Films), is viewable online on their website. This episode includes a reading of their poem,  "Glitter in my Wounds"."Glitter in my Wounds"first and most important                             dream our missing friends forward                             burn their reflections into empty chairs             we are less bound by time than the clockmaker fearsthis morning all I want is to follow where the stone angels point                      birdsong lashing me to tears                              heterosexuals need to see our suffering                   the violent deaths of our friends and lovers       to know glitter on a queer is not to dazzle but to  unsettle the foundation of this murderous culture         defiant weeds smashing up through cement                      you think Oscar Wilde was funny                     well Darling I think he was busy                             distracting straight peopleso they would not kill himif you knew how many times Ihave been told you’re not like mygay best friend who tells mejokes and makes me laughno I sure as fuck am notI have no room in my life toaudition for your pansy mascotyou people can’t kill me andthink you can kill me againI met a tree in Amsterdam andstood barefoot beside it for twentyminutes then left completely restored     yet another poem not written by a poet                    sometimes we need one muscle to                                     relax so the others follow                                 my friend Mandy calls after a                               long shift at the strip club to say                            while standing in line for death I am                        fanning my hot pussy with your new book                   will you sign it next week my fearless faggot sisterSupport the show
Sara Borjas | "Lies I Tell"
Feb 1 2022
Sara Borjas | "Lies I Tell"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Sara Borjas. Her debut collection of poetry, Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff was published by Noemi Press in 2019. Her work can be found in Ploughshares, The Rumpus, Poem-a-Day by The Academy of American Poets, Alta and The Offing, amongst others. She digs oldiez, outer space, aromatics, and tiny prints is about decentering whiteness in literature, creative writing, and daily life. SourceThis episode includes a reading of her poem,  "Lies I Tell", featured in our 2021 Get Lit Anthology."Lies I Tell"A woman has a window in her face: that is the truth. I look like my mother: that is the truth. I want to tell you I am not like her: that is the truth. I am ashamed walking in a woman’s body: that is the truth. I wish to take back everything I say: that is the truth. A window can be a mirror. It can also be a door: that is the truth. As a girl, my mother slept in a shack with no windows and one door: that is the truth. My grandma would slam windows: truth. A mother’s hands are stronger than God: truth. We often use fruit to describe a bruise, like plum or blackberry: truth. My mother’s window blackberried: truth. My mother’s door peached: truth. She loves peaches: that is the truth. My father could not stand them in our house: that is the truth. We had three doors and nine windows in our house: that is the truth. A woman has a face in her window: truth. A father has a window but I don’t know where it is: truth. What burrows is the peach fuzz, he said: that is the truth. I have never been close enough to a peach to eat one: truth. The worst things last on the skin: truth. I don’t like not having things: truth. My father has one door but I can’t find it: truth. Not all windows open: that is the truth. One night I see my father crying in the yard, head in his hands: that is the truth. I make things up that I want for myself: that is the truth.Support the show
Ada Limón | "A New National Anthem"
Jan 25 2022
Ada Limón | "A New National Anthem"
In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Ada Limón.  She is the author of five poetry collections, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Her fourth book Bright Dead Things was named a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. SourceThis episode includes a reading of an excerpt from her poem,  "A New National Anthem". See more work by Ada Limón featured in our 2021 Get Lit Anthology."A New National Anthem"The truth is, I’ve never cared for the NationalAnthem. If you think about it, it’s not a goodsong. Too high for most of us with “the rocketsred glare” and then there are the bombs.(Always, always, there is war and bombs.)Once, I sang it at homecoming and threweven the tenacious high school band off key.But the song didn’t mean anything, just a callto the field, something to get through beforethe pummeling of youth. And what of the stanzaswe never sing, the third that mentions “no refugecould save the hireling and the slave”? Perhaps,the truth is, every song of this countryhas an unsung third stanza, something brutalsnaking underneath us as we blindly singthe high notes with a beer sloshing in the standshoping our team wins. Don’t get me wrong, I dolike the flag, how it undulates in the windlike water, elemental, and best when it’s humbled,brought to its knees, clung to by someone whohas lost everything, when it’s not a weapon,when it flickers, when it folds up so perfectlyyou can keep it until it’s needed, until you canlove it again, until the song in your mouth feelslike sustenance, a song where the notes are sungby even the ageless woods, the short-grass plains,the Red River Gorge, the fistful of land leftunpoisoned, that song that’s our birthright,that’s sung in silence when it’s too hard to go on,that sounds like someone’s rough fingers weavinginto another’s, that sounds like a match being litin an endless cave, the song that says my bonesare your bones, and your bones are my bones,and isn’t that enough?Support the show
Traci Brimhall | "Oh Wonder"
Jan 11 2022
Traci Brimhall | "Oh Wonder"
In this episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Traci Brimhall. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and New England Review, among others. Some of her work has also been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Best of the Net, PBS Newshour, and Best American Poetry 2013 & 2014. Source This episode includes a reading of her poem,  "Oh Wonder", featured in our 2021 Get Lit Anthology."Oh Wonder"It’s the garden spider who eats her mistakesat the end of day so she can billow in the lungof night, dangling from an insecure branch  or caught on the coral spur of a dove’s footand sleep, her spinnerets trailing radials likeungathered hair. It’s a million pound cumulus.  It’s the stratosphere, holding it, miraculous. It’sa mammatus rolling her weight through duskwaiting to unhook and shake free the hail.  Sometimes it’s so ordinary it escapes your notice—pothos reaching for windows, ease of an avocadoslipping its skin. A porcelain boy with lamp-black  eyes told me most mammals have the same averagenumber of heartbeats in a lifetime. It is the mouseengine that hums too hot to last. It is the blue whale’s  slow electricity—six pumps per minute is the wayto live centuries. I think it’s also the hummingbirdI saw in a video lifted off a cement floor by firefighters  and fed sugar water until she was again a tempest.It wasn’t when my mother lay on the garage floorand my brother lifted her while I tried to shout louder  than her sobs. But it was her heart, a washable ink.It was her dark’s genius, how it moaned slow enoughto outlive her. It is the orca who pushes her dead calf  a thousand miles before she drops it or it falls apart.And it is also when she plays with her pod the dayafter. It is the night my son tugs at his pajama  collar and cries: The sad is so big I can’t get it all out,and I behold him, astonished, his sadness as cleanand abundant as spring. His thunder-heart, a marvel  I refuse to invade with empathy. And outside, cloudsgroan like gods, a garden spider consumes her home.It’s knowing she can weave it tomorrow between  citrus leaves and earth. It’s her chamberless heartcleaving the length of her body. It is lifting my soninto my lap to witness the birth of his grieving.Support the show