Episode 43: Family Matters
This week’s episode of Slush Pile sees the editorial table discussing George McDermott’s “Frames Per Second” and Gabrielle Tribou’s “The Loneliness of Mothers.” On this episode, we also say goodbye to Sharee Devose as PBQ’s Co-Op and welcome Joseph Kindt as the next…
Present at the Editorial Table:
Kathleen Volk Miller
This week’s episode of Slush Pile sees the editorial table discussing George McDermott’s “Frames Per Second” and Gabrielle Tribou’s “The Loneliness of Mothers.” On this episode, we also say goodbye to Sharee Devose as PBQ’s Co-Op and welcome Joseph Kindt as the next, but don’t worry–Sharee has an open invitation to join us for any future podcasts we record, so she’ll be around! As lit lovers, our conversation trying to find the right word to describe Joseph’s training experience led to some hammer banter about Game of Thrones character, Gendry, before starting our editorial meeting with George McDermott’s work.
George McDermott has been exploring the Merry-Go-Round Effect. Many years ago, he left high school English teaching to become a speechwriter and screenwriter. Some years later, as a sort of penance, he became a teacher again. Most recently, he’s co-authored a book with a woman who was a student in one of his eleventh-grade English classes. He’s hoping that traveling in circles can add up to progress. See more @ www.gorge-mcdermott.com; www.facebook.com/WhatWentRight and Twitter: @McDwrite
We really enjoyed reading George McDermott’s “Frames Per Second.” Tim Fitts enjoyed it so much, in fact, that he is tempted to steal some of the lines. Then, speaking of plagiarism, Jason mentioned a recent plagiarism scandal involving a former Canadian Poet Laureate taking work from Maya Angelou and Tupac Shakur! Naturally, then, Marion transitioned us to talking about Cinema Paradiso’s25th anniversary, and talks of obsoleted technologies led us to our vote! Listen in to hear the results before we moved on to Gabrielle Tribou’s “The Loneliness of Mothers.”
Gabrielle Tribou currently lives in Hue, Vietnam. When she’s not working, she splits her time between the different cafes in her neighborhood, visiting an average of three per day. She’s a fan of vegetables and public green spaces.
“The Loneliness of Mothers” got us into deep discussion about the role of mothers and parenting. After two poems dealing with various family matters, we shared stories about our parents, and Kathleen and Sharee bonded over a friendly parenting tip for all to enjoy: Take your kids to The Home Depot! Tim reminded us not to forget to get some Honeycrisp apples while they’re in season, and Jason shared a list of good reads for you to look into. Tune in to hear all about it.
Frames Per Second
Sorting old photos and cans of home movies
she comes across a yellowing shot
of a laughing girl her younger daughter
the one who moved to Arizona
or who knows where ’cause truth be told
they haven’t talked in a very long time
About ten in the picture probably ten
when they sang together every day
before the eyes the defiant shoulders
the silent years when it seemed they met
only on stairways passed only
in doorways and the cameras
were pretty much packed away
She puts the photo back safe in its folder
opens a can and threads the projector
and the reel of film flickers to life
ratcheting through from moment to moment
enough pictures to create the illusion of motion
enough motion to create the illusion of progress
playpens and sandboxes bicycles and then
the interstitial flash of white
just six or eight light-struck frames
dividing what came before
from what will follow
The Loneliness of Mothers
is louder than any afterschool clamor.
The mother hears it
in early fall. One lane over:
an Escape’s exhaust is bleeding,
mixing into air, thin city air,
hot with end-of-summer heat.
Strum of a stilled, unmoving carpool line.
The mother’s child, in the school,
doors away, will soon be late
for the meet.
The mother hears it
at the dinner table, in waiting rooms
left to wait, left to listen to clock scratching,
stranger to the strangers she created
once, at night, during many nights,
at morning, midday, among angry sheets,
or no sheets, dog brushed from bed,
pawing behind closed door,
the first baby asleep, sleeping,
and later, held to breast,
howling for warmth, that intangible, ungraspable
mother warmth, gone before you know it.
Outside, car doors grunt and close,
children disappearing within.
Along the horizon, meek clouds disperse.
Hold her, in the echoing emptiness
of her darkened house, in the thin-stretched
minutes of carpool lines,
at the sink, between the scrape and rinse of dishes;
Listen to her when she speaks,
to her repeated stories,
those rehearsed and practiced complaints,
and handle gently
the bolted fabric of her days.
It is Free