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A highlight from [encore] 618: Elegy for Kentucky
"In Kentucky, horses are everywhere. When folks come to visit, even the young kids grow weary of yelling out horses. Every time we turn a corner on some pastoral vista, just a minute out of the city. I will never get used to them. Those enormous animals swaying in the field. I love them. And sometimes they scare me. They scare me because they are more than me. Stronger, larger, more in tune, but the grass, under their hoofs. Once, where I used to walk every morning, there was a bunch of yearlings in an adjacent field. I'd say hello to them, and they'd keep their distance until they'd slowly meander over, warily. It felt like we both needed it. The daily greeting, the head nods, the sun coming up. The idea that maybe we do this again tomorrow. This thing called living. In today's pulsating poem, we see how the speaker needs to acknowledge an old horse every day. And how that need becomes doubled when trauma occurs. We watched too, as the horse, and the speaker, become almost united in their need for escape. Elegy for Kentucky, by joy priest. Nowhere to drive. Night upon night that last summer. But back, back to the Kochi couple, I was crashing with in their 26 year habit. On the way there, the same horse, always dying at the curve before I turned. Like a kitschy disco ball. Onto their street, name, I can't recall. There she lay, toppled like a toy, figurine, calm, but huffing, a laboring machine making steam. Though the cold air belonged to June, its grief. A Philly done before becoming a mother. Great belly, black, and wide, as old, surrender. And that magnificent face still against the grass, waiting on the end. There she was, every time, whispering something to me, a line, throbbing, a visible heartbeat, I watched in the mirror for hours with my huge horse eyes. I needed to see her. To make sure she was still there. I went the same way each evening, wanting to feel something, to see this once immortal creature get up. Any week thing was welcome to finish me then. And when he came into the room, with bridle and bit on his 26 year high, when he came up on me, where I was lying at that curve in my mind. Arms and teeth numb. I did not resist. Just a muted Yale inside for months before it lit on me like an ancestor. As a child, I followed my grandfather, across the street, behind our House, longfield avenue, backside of the track, where the thoroughbreds for that maze, Derby, were trapped, bored of what they were bred for, all their royalty within a corral. My hand, a child's offering, was empty when they snorted and drew their worn noses across my poem. Yet, it was in their nature to remain friendly toward me. My home did not keep its promise, after my grandfather died. There was no protection for what I was, without him. Lone, black, Philly. Finished before, becoming. She must have tired of standing there. High headed, waiting for me to write her out of that war. To call out,
A highlight from [encore] 651: Training
"There are a few things as wholly satisfying as the love of an animal. To be loved by a cat or dog, to be loved and to offer love back, unconditionally, is one of my favorite things about my life. When lily bean came into our lives as a puppy, I thought I'd never let a dog sleep in my bed. I set her small bed, by the side of my bed, and tried to sleep. As soon as I turned off the lights, I heard her soft wine, and felt her little paw trying to reach me. And of course, ever since, she has slept not only in my bed, but curled up in my arms every night. We sleep as a team. Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly anxious or low or shameful, I just press my head into my dog's belly, and listen to her heartbeat. She sleeps so soundly, so entirely. And her heart is so steady. It makes me feel fixed. She's taught me through our almost 11 years of living together. To not take myself so seriously all the time. About 5 years ago, I realized that when I look at her, I immediately smile. And I wondered, what would happen if I did that for myself? If I smiled, at myself, when I looked into the mirror. I do it all the time now. And let me tell you, it is life-changing. Today's poem examines that love we all long for. A sense of belonging. The kindness of touch. Training, by DNA, Antigua. The puppy won't stop eating rocks and moss. Sometimes I pry open her mouth to find whole splinters of bark on her pink tongue. We try to train her how to sit. How to stick out her paw when we ask, when she poops in the house, we bring it to the yard, so she knows where to go. Next time, and later, after it's dried in the sun, after the flies have had their fill, we scoop it up and throw it in the Woods. Here the world is perpetual march, and we love a dog as if that's the only thing we can do, as if death can not touch this slice of New England. The trees growing a Canopy of shade just for us. Yesterday, we strapped the smallest life jacket to her furry body, took her swimming for the first time. We watched her paddle from the shore to the center of the Lake, then back again, until she grew tired. And last night, while we argued about things that won't matter in a month, he was still petting the puppy's wet head. And I cried. Like, I'd never known a kindness so pure and gentle as that. As a pat on the head for doing nothing, but existing. I wouldn't call this jealousy. But there is no word in my human tongue that seems appropriate. It's the feeling of all the stones I swallowed in my youth, growing jagged in my belly. And I scratched the surface of my skin with any sharp thing I can find. To cut them out.
A highlight from [encore] 689: Alive at the End of the World
"I was recently in provincetown, Massachusetts, giving a poetry craft talk at the fine arts work center. After the event, I met a few of the poetry fellows there. The fellowship is for emerging writers and artists, and consist of 7 months of free housing at the fine arts work center, as well as a small stipend. By the time I made it there to speak, the fellowship was nearing its end. Folks were already preparing for whatever upcoming plans they had, various jobs, teaching gigs, or the great, unknown. You could feel that antsy graduation vibe as they spoke each of them trying to surrender to whatever was coming next. But what moved me most was hearing them talk about the community, they built together over the 7 months of cold weather on the very tip of Cape Cod. They had writing workshops and provided each other with deadlines and prompts. The way they praised each other and spoke about each other's work was so admirable. It made me think about the ways we build and foster community. Especially as artists, it's so important to find ways to encourage each other as we choose a life that's a little outside the fold. Provincetown is not only an artist community, but an active and flourishing, LGBTQIA community. And there's a feeling there that everyone who has decided to pave their own way to make their own path confined a connection to P town. If you permit me the cliche, it sometimes feels like the road less traveled is actually highway 6 that takes you right to the whales breaching at herring cove, or straight to the a house, where you can dance all night with abandon. Finding a community, finding connection, feels like it's never been more important. With all the personal and public agonies, everyone I know is going through, we need our communities, our support system. We need to both stare at the sea with each other and turn up the music and dance with each other. As I drove out of provincetown that Friday morning, I found it hard to leave. But sometimes, it's enough to know it's there. That a place like that exists. Today's poem is a serious argument for community. And the rebellion of joy. I love this poem for how it shows us the importance of defending our right to pleasure. Alive at the end of the world, by say Jones. The end of the world was a nightclub. Drag queens, with machetes, and rhinestoned, machine guns, guarded the red and impassable door on Friday nights. Just a look at the crowd, all dressed up and swaying outside, made people want to yell the truth about themselves, to anyone who'd listen. But no one heard. The end of the world was loud. The end of the world leaked music, like radiation, and we loved the neon echo, even though it taunted us, or maybe because it taunted us. Kids leaning out of windows hours after bedtime, cab drivers, debating fairs at the curb, just for an excuse to linger. Pastors who'd pause at the corner and vow that if they ever
A highlight from [encore] 523: Our Valley
"Hi, it's Ada. I'm here with slowdown producer Micah. Here mostly to say, Ada, thank you for your time as host. There will be new episodes with a new host in the new year. But for now, we are bringing you some of our favorite episodes from the archives. For the week of Thanksgiving, what we have to share are episodes on how we seek and how we find belonging. I'm Ada lemon, and this is the slowdown. I grew up about an hour away from the Pacific Ocean. In a place that sounds made up. The valley where I grew up is actually cold. The valley of the moon. We had long, dry summers, summers that are now plagued with wildfires, and mild green winters, winters were so green that I was confused when I moved east and everything turned dead and brown, as soon as the day's shrank to nothing. That valley will always be home for me. No matter where I live, no matter where I travel to. I like to call it my valley, though nothing belongs to me. I have no ownership over the land. The valley of the moon is situated between two low mountain ranges. The Maya commas mountains and the Sonoma mountains. In the mornings we get the coastal fog that hangs thick over the vineyards, and it feels like the actual breath of the ocean. Even if you don't see it, even if you don't look at it each day, you get a sense that the large pulsing body of water is out there, massive and unknowable. Today's poem captures what it's like to feel the sea and sense its presence, even when you are somehow in the middle of a landlocked valley. Written by Philip Levine, who was in fact my very first cherished poetry professor in graduate school, this poem reminds us of the importance of awe. A feeling that makes us know we are small. A feeling that is both full of wonder and terror. This poem makes it clear that no matter how much we worship the natural world, want it to be ours, love it, write about it, it still doesn't belong to us. Like human life itself, the natural landscape will always remain something too mysterious to comprehend. And for me, that's the gift. Our valley, by Philip Levine. We don't see the ocean. Not ever. But in July and August, when the worst heat seems to rise from the hard clay of this valley, you could be walking through a fig Orchard when suddenly the wind cools and for a moment you get a whiff of salt, and in that moment you can almost believe something is waiting beyond the Pacheco pass, something massive, irrational, and so powerful, even the mountains that rise east of here have no word for it. You probably think I'm nuts, saying the mountains have no word for ocean. But if you live here, you begin to believe they know everything. They maintain that huge silence we think of as divine. A silence that grows in autumn when snow falls slowly between the pines and the wind dies to less than a whisper, and you can barely catch your breath because you're thrilled and terrified. You have to remember this isn't your land. It belongs to no one. Like the sea you once lived beside and thought was yours. Remember the small boats that bobbed out as the waves rode in, and the men who carved a living from it only to find themselves carved down to nothing. Now you say, this is home. So, go ahead, worship the mountains as they dissolve in dust. Wait on the wind,
A highlight from Rerun: #481 Hanif Abdurraqib (Mar 2022)
"I'm Erin lammer. This is the long form podcast. We are off this week for Thanksgiving. So we're running an interview I did earlier this year with hanif abdurraqib. He's a critic, essayist, poet, and I really enjoyed talking to him. The conversation stuck with me. So here it is. We'll be back with a brand new episode next week. I've got here Abdul rakib, welcome to the program. Thank you so much for having me, and I really appreciate being here. I just finished your most recent essay collection a little devil in America, which is largely about performance, but I noticed while I was reading it, how much of the book is not about the performer, but the audience for said performances. So I thought a place to start might be to talk about how you think about the audience for your essays. I don't. I think that I'm a better writer when I don't consider outside audience and instead consider myself as a willing audience member kind of in the front row for my own obsessions. And there's a more even generosity there for myself because, you know, if I spend any time thinking about audience or who's reading my work or why they might be reading my work, that's almost a hindrance to me and whatever mission I'm pursuing as a writer, but if I consider myself as kind of a vessel for my own obsessions and an excited and willing audience member at the concert of my own obsessions, then I think I serve both myself and the writing more evenly. Because that is something that I can steer. Myself is audience is something I have a little bit more control over and one thing that I've really made peace with and had to have made peace with early on is that, you know, once you're work enters the world, once you decide that your work is going to enter the world, it's no longer yours. And you can not control people's reactions to it or people's projections onto it. And so there's some ways that I've had to surrender my feelings and thoughts around audience. So if you think of yourself as the hypothetical audience for your own work, I would think that that takes a sensitivity when you are reading other people's work when you're reading are you sort of thinking about the relationship between something you're reading to your own work, things that you'd like to do on your side there. Yeah, well, I often think about reading other people's work as a real opportunity to learn. You know, I don't have a quote unquote traditional education and writing. I didn't go to school for it. I didn't study it. At all, I was bad at school anyway. You know, these kind of things. And so I am in many ways self taught, which simply means that I've read a lot. And so my sensibilities, my taste varies, but my sensibilities are all still very much wrapped up in that of a student, perhaps. Like, what can I learn from this experience that I'm having? Or what is happening in this book that I can perhaps borrow from? I'm a big borrower, you know? And not in a standpoint of plagiarism, you know, I'm not like mapping whole sentences out on my own work. But in terms of tricks that I pick up in other people's writing, you know? Small tricks of confession or tricks of perhaps shifting the perspective of the speaker or including the reader in a kind of a choir, a call and response, even though I can not adequately get the response. These kind of things, you know, when I'm reading other people's work, I am asking myself the question of, well, what can I borrow? What can be lent to my own creative practice, which doesn't mean that I'm only reading work for that. Like everyone else, I read work for a series of excitements and rich storytelling and all these things. But my brain is still kind of that of a eternal student. So you said that you were not traditionally trained as a writer. I wonder if you could tell me a little bit about your life and what was going down during the time period. When you would have been getting educated as a writer and what you were thinking, you would pursue during those poor school years. I mean, hessie said, I did grow up in a house where reading was immensely important. And so I did read a lot. And when I was a kid, a library was built at the top of my street on the east side of Columbus saluting student branch of the Columbus library. And that was life-changing for me because though reading was an important priority in my household, we just didn't have a lot of books. You know, I didn't grow up in a household that had access to a lot of books, but to have a library was like, I almost couldn't believe it. It was my first experience in a place like that. And I couldn't believe it because I was like, oh, I could just sit up here all day and read and no one's going to bother me. You know, like
A highlight from [encore] 508: Rehearsal for the New World
"Hi, it's Ada. I'm here with slowdown producer Micah. Here mostly to say, Ada, thank you for your time as host. There will be new episodes with a new host in the new year. But for now, we are bringing you some of our favorite episodes from the archives. For the week of Thanksgiving, what we have to share are episodes on how we seek and how we find belonging. I'm Ada lemon, and this is the slowdown. I grew up in an English speaking household, but when we would visit my paternal grandparents, I used to love hearing my grandfather speak Spanish. Truth be told, he believed in sticking to English. Still, I remember him singing in Spanish how animated he'd become when his original tongue was let loose in his mouth. His singing always reminded me of what freedom must feel like. All of his original music moving through him. Regardless of what language you speak, when you do not find yourself in books or movies, you begin to wonder where you belong. If you do not belong to the place your parents or grandparents are from, it can seem as if you do not belong anywhere. There is always someone asking, where are you from? Over and over until you may even begin to doubt where you are from. I used to make a list of famous people who had a Mexican background. Linda Carter, who played Wonder Woman, or Joan Baez, her long hair, and even longer notes. I thought maybe I could be like them. People who thrived in the in between. So many people know what it's like to feel the danger of being an outsider, to be the other. And yet, when it's happening to us, the weight of it can feel overwhelming and crushing. How can we thrive if we do not know where we belong? Oddly, this space of complex belonging is where poetry thrives. In today's poem, I love the image of a child mouthing words at the television and trying on a language a culture until it feels familiar. And still the poem points out, even when we think we have assimilated, there is a mystery that surrounds us. Other worlds that move through us. It is not that we try on the essential American culture simply to fit in. But it is also about safety. The more we blend, the more we don't cause a scene, the more we quietly stay out of the way, the safer we might be. Today's poem straddles two worlds. The world of working to find an identity, and the world of remaining silent for the sake of safety. Rehearsal for the new world, by hazem fahmy. Hours before the TV, my mouth agape, repeating after every American cartoon endlessly. Call it a meditation. Was I not emptying my mind of language? Mouthing every syllable like prayer, God, make me a true American. IE invisible, yet ever present. What a rush it was to speak empire at such a young age. Later, I am asked, how did you get this accent? Once I feared the other end of that question, once across the world, I learned the danger of caring a country in your throat. So I did
A highlight from [encore] 673: New Town
"Hi, it's Ada. I'm here with slowdown producer Micah. Here mostly to say, Ada, thank you for your time as host. There will be new episodes with a new host in the new year. But for now, we are bringing you some of our favorite episodes from the archives. For the week of Thanksgiving, what we have to share are episodes on how we seek and how we find belonging. I'm Italy, and this is the slowdown. Most of my friends have family histories that include some level of outsider experience. Whether they were immigrants from Mexico or Central America, or Vietnam, or immigrants from Ireland or Poland or Somalia, or expatriates living outside the United States. The stories of family and how their lives were made in a new place always fascinates me, and humbles me. In order to enter a new country, to call a new country home, one must figure out how to survive there. That work of survival is not for the faint of heart. When I think about the importance of writing, I think of how it's essential to remember that writing is an ongoing global endeavor. It is not simply a Twitter battle about whether or not to get a master of fine arts degree in writing. For many, writing is a record of their lives, and an effort to report and transform their experiences. This is true, the world over. Everyone in the south is often talking about how it's important to remember that not all writing takes place in New York. I think it's also important to remember that not all writing takes place in the United States. The fact that language can be translated and words and experiences can be shared, feels increasingly miraculous to me. We praise the journalists who are risking and losing their lives in the invasion of Ukraine, and underscore how essential it is for us to hear those stories. And I feel the same way about poetry. As William Carlos Williams once wrote, it is difficult to get the news from poems. Yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there. Today's poem does the work of showing us what it is to try to fit into a new place that does not want you to be there. Both mythic and true that poem invites us to acknowledge the experience of the outsider. Newtown, by Alexander, Heyman. When you enter a town, follow its customs. Praise the people and their kindness, kiss their flags, groom their peacocks, love their wars, leaders, and politeness. The people will like you. Open the doors wide. They may lock their pantries, slap, and hide their daughters, but never because of you. You're a nice good one. Not the other kind. They'll watch you from their high windows, grin from behind the doors with spy holes, ask you who you are, where you've come from. What you think of these shores of freedom. They'll adore you for your garbled words. Teach you to speak as everyone should. They'll say, oh, this is a work in progress. So we'll ask you to trim our branches, water our lawns, manage our kitchens. If a man is liked by his fellow men, he is liked by God. He is rewarded in heaven. His before life shall matter to none of us. At night they'll lock the iron gate, give you a knife and blanket, keep you outside, safe. There might be wind, and rain, or even snow. Night beasts with their howls. If you do awake, the following morning, the gate shall fling open, and you'll be welcomed, and just remembered, when you enter the town, follow its customs, praise the good people, our kindness. Endless.
A highlight from [encore] 521: Invocation
"I like the idea of belonging how we can call the world closer to us. I believe in the connectedness of living things and rituals and the power of language, those small ways I can help ground myself when I feel like I'm spinning off into the chaos of the world. I like candles for friends or family who are sick or in need. I grow in braid sweet grass and give braids to friends. I think it's important to make eye contact when you're toasting someone, and like my friend Fernando taught me, I say, oh, if someone tries to drink before looking me in the eyes. I talk to my houseplants, I believe plants can get lonely in an empty room, even with the right amount of light or water. I say hello to the three crows on my morning walk. I don't think we're friends yet, but they seem to put up with me in the dog. Part of my belief in these moments of what some might call superstitions or rituals is that I want to be sure that I'm acknowledging the world around me. Not just staring at my phone or doom scrolling or worrying about what's next. Staying closer to home these days, I'm always noticing the trees and birds and grasses that surround me. I learn their names, too. It's a way of feeling like I'm not alone. I know we live in cane run watershed, for example. I know the names of the trees on my morning walk. Speaking to the natural world, witnessing it, noticing the way it changes and shifts, makes me feel like I'm a part of something. Now that I travel less, see my family less, I need to feel a part of something. We get to see how that connection to the natural world is also passed on through generations. How deeply watching or speaking to the world around us infuses who we are as children as parents as humans. This poem makes it clear that legacy isn't just about the human family, and identity doesn't always have to do with a country. How we love our natural world is how we know where we belong. Invocation, by W Todd. Remember me, my father sings to the forest, his mouth wide, eyes looking back into darkness, like he can see every creature on the island. Field mouse, stray dog and house cat, white tailed deer. That waitress at the Chinese restaurant, once asked his name. Then, fed him every night for the rest of his life, without ever showing him a menu. Some nights, the sky speaks to me of so many things I will not forget to be glad for. The horizons swift departure against the porch light, a fluster of bats over power lines and across the park that taciturn music made by the winds hollow breath. Outside, while my son kicks off his blankets, the sound, a flag makes.
A highlight from (Episode 348) "Yellowstone" Actor: Orli Gottesman.
"I'm Orly goddess man and you are listening to Monday morning critic. I have to ask you, I've been dying to ask you this all day. How good is butterbeer? Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. 100%. The frozen one's better than the regular. Have you ever had it? I haven't. So paint a picture like I'm trying in my mind to like picture what it tastes like and I can't do it. I can't figure it out. So think of like, so they have like a frozen one and like a regular one. It tastes like cream soda, but it also tastes like those caramel butterscotch like things in those golden. Okay. Like it's just like it's so yummy and it's got like this like cold foam on the top that's just like it just works. I was gonna say butterscotch, but like the way you're describing makes me want to have one right now. Yeah, that's a good description. So I have to say, you know, I don't know how you do it. I don't know how you almost have two lives. I was thinking about this today. It's almost like you're like Diana prince in one way, and another way you're like Wonder Woman, right? You have these like two lives. I mean, I can't imagine, you know, when I was your age, doing it. Is it difficult for you to pull off? Because we're going to get to it, but you have this amazing life that you're living that's very difficult. Not many people can do it. And then you're kind of at sometimes expected to be a high school kid, which you are, but is there a conflict? Is it tough? How is that journey for you? Yeah, there's definitely some struggle trying to balance, obviously, I wouldn't consider myself like a normal teenage girl, like for certain reasons, it's hard for me to kind of do the things that a normal teenager would do just because I don't have my mindsets completely different, just like based off of my priority is in this week it's like homecoming week and everyone's worried about getting their votes out and posting about all that stuff. And that stuff is just like over my head. I don't actually pay attention to it. And as much as I would love to, like I've always thought I'll never have the high school experience, you know? But it's like you take and you get and I'd much rather have what I have now. It's tricky trying to balance between my friends and my social life and being that teenage girl in relationships and, you know, having to leave for weeks at a time to go meet these amazing people and do amazing things and, you know, hopefully someday get big, but I'm living my dream and I'll make the sacrifices that I need to. Yeah, it's amazing because one day you're with Kevin Costner the next day you're a cypress Lake panther. Like I don't get how that and listen, for those listening and it's a tough thing to manage. I mean, but I love the fact that you're trying to give it a shot living that high school life living. Do you find that you're treated differently orally by people or is it one of those things where they know you, you've always been orally and they accept you no matter what or is it or is it a difficult transition to make? Yeah, I go to an art school so they acknowledge that you know I'm working and a lot of us have the same dream. For them it's usually more like theater like Broadway going to New York going to college and for me like I'm still at that moment where I'm like, do I want to go to college? Because what would I major in? You know, I could do something like producing. So but I mean, all of the people at that cypress Lake they knew me before they knew like Haley that I was Hailey on a show and so the super, super supportive, they don't really treat me any differently though, which I really appreciate. Yeah, excellent. I mean, and this is just the start for you because there's no way you don't go anywhere but up. I mean, you're off to such so many good things, I think. And it all starts with this two week camp in LA that you love. Was your sister with you at this camp? Yeah. Yeah, so outside of this, first of all, touching that two week camp and then tell me what else you love about acting, right? Because this camp was big for you. People are about to find out. But what else about acting do you really love or answer that in any order you want? I mean, I just love being able to be different people, but kind of like be myself in a way. It's kind of like, I get to step out of reality and do something that I've been practicing my whole life, but also for me and my sister sort of came really naturally. And all these huge opportunities, just like in my mind knowing that one day maybe I'll get to meet them and being able to work in their presence and also this is something that I was put into. I never realized that I loved the art of acting until a couple of years ago because I couldn't really appreciate it because I didn't know like the significance of it. And then I started talking to my friends and they all told me that they always wanted to be actors, but they never knew how to get started. And for me, that never occurred to me. If I weren't an actor, would I want to be an actor? You know, but it was like I was kind of put into this, but I'm so happy that I was because I now have all these opportunities like lined up and, you know, I can just pursue something that I didn't know that I loved until I knew that I loved it. Do you run lines with Ariel? Yes. Yeah, all the time. I hope it auditions. She helps me take auditions, yeah.
A highlight from [encore] 662: To Be in Love
"Hey there, it's Ada. And slow down producer Micah. We will return in the new year with episodes from a fantastic new host. And you'll be in great hands. Meanwhile, we returning to a selection from the episodes I hosted in my tenure. This week, we are bringing you episodes on the theme of romantic love. I'm Italy moan, and this is the slowdown. I was listening recently to a radio interview with science writer, Florence Williams. On the effects of love and heartbreak on the body. She talks about how, in a very real physiological way, our bodies shift when we fall in love. We mirror our partners, our heart rates often sync up. Our cortisol levels often match. We tend to ebb and flow with our beloved. But she also talked about what happens to us when our partners leave. Cortisol levels rise, alarms go off in our nervous system. We are hardwired to think we are suddenly unsafe. I felt both these feelings. The sinking of the rhythmic bliss, and all the alarms going off in the body, like its under attack. It is serious. Love is serious. When anyone comes to me with heartbreak, I will try to honor it with all my attention. Once when I worked for a travel magazine in New York City, our friend called sobbing. She had just found out that her boyfriend had been cheating on her, and she was crying alone in an Irish bar in midtown. It was around 3 p.m., and I stood up to tell one of my colleagues what happened. And I'll never forget, with all the seriousness of an emergency room nurse, my kind colleague said, you must go to her. And I did. I remember once having fallen in love very young and thinking everything had changed. That my body had been struck by lightning or somehow anointed for pleasure in a way that I had never known. But it wasn't necessarily a peaceful feeling. It was a feeling of an ache of an immeasurable attachment. I didn't understand how people lived like this. I remember distinctly during that time, trying to sleep, and hearing the pigeons roosting in the balcony outside my window. The strange, almost underwater purring, was so persistent, and their cooing was so loud. I remember thinking, I bet that's what my heart sounds like. Today's poem, by one of my poetic heroes, Gwendolyn Brooks, is about the intense ache of love, and how all things are changed by love's grasp, and loves release. To be in love, by Gwendolyn Brooks. To be in love, is to touch with a lighter hand. In yourself you stretch, you are well. You look at things through his eyes, a cardinal is red. A sky is blue, suddenly you know he knows, too. He is not there, but you know you are tasting together. The winter, or a light spring weather, his hand to take your hand is overmuch too much to bear. You can not look in his eyes, because your pulse must not say what must not be said. When he shuts a door, is not there. Your arms or water, and you are free with a ghastly freedom. You are the beautiful half of a golden hurt. You remember, and covet his mouth, to touch, to whisper on. Oh, when to declare, is certain death. Oh, when to a prize is to mesmerize. To see fall down, the column of gold, into the calmness, ash.
A highlight from (Episode 347) "The Fablemans" Actor: Judd Hirsch.
"I could. But there was a dybbuk somewhere in the just kept on knocking at my heart and saying, you will not be happy. And if you don't do something with people, you will not be happy. And it's hard to make that decision, right, judge, because you're going from something that in a career like acting, which is very unstable to a job that is very stable, you know, somebody you're clearly very bright to grand physics. So that takes a lot of hope, but it make that to make that decision. Well, it's just when you become the aviator and you know you can fly the damn plane and you'll be able to do some great things with this airplane that you jump out of it. And wonder where you're going to land. Yeah, and you know what, I did want to wish you a belated happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service. My father was in the army so I can absolutely respect and be grateful to anybody that does serve. So thank you for that. Oh, you're welcome. You're welcome. I left my way through. It was fine. So I do want to luckily I was either too young for one war and too old for the other. And that's a good spot to be absolutely. But somehow we're always at war. I did want to touch upon a few of your works before we get to this wonderful resistance 1942 movie that I saw great movie. You know, what do you think I was reading something in IMDb today, which is funny to me because I wonder who put some of these entries in because anybody can enter things. And it says that many of your characters are cranky and ill tempered. I find that your characters are filled with depth and heart. So it's like weird how people can see your characters. Like, I think your characters and I can name ten movies off the top of my head where the character has heart and depth and love to it. So that's the trouble with social media. When it comes to a matter of taste. They just don't have it. I mean, hey, listen, if you ever got described by that many people, you know, there's only one or two is really going to know what the hell they're talking about. The other ones just blabbing. Yeah. And I think they meant to be described by that. You kind of say to yourself, who is it that describing me? I mean, you could say that about any actor, you could say about Al Pacino, like I just think it's weird how people see things. And I don't think they meant it as an insult. I think it was a compliment, but I don't think he was very reflective of how the range that you possess. It's like somebody trying to find an adjective. Yes. Not knowing English well enough. Yeah. Hey, listen. Language is very imperfect. The people who can use more language perfect at least an image, which is closer to what the language can describe. There's no language that really can tell you how you feel and how you can express it. You'll have to just do more and more and more. That's why adjectives are there. That's how I remember the expression from inside to outside can only come from a language. I mean, and it's so imperfect. I'll tell you what I found out. When I went to school and I was going to study very technical stuff called engineering is called math and physics, okay? That's what I that's what I studied. Math was the beginning. Math was the thing that got me interested into. What is possible. And how you get there. It's almost like something giving you a telescope now and I don't look into. The universe. I'll be fascinated by how to get there. I'd be fascinated by anything I didn't know. Math is a perfect language. Can I you can not describe the number one in any other way. Yeah, there is. There is no, there's no gray area. There's no. Supreme Court of numbers to tell you what it really means. But the rest of it is language. And luckily, we get a chance to express artfully through language. Yeah. Well said you guys, these guys wrote a wonderful script and the rest as your imagination. And what the camera can do. Yeah. For sure. And a lot of the people that was to the podcast were very excited that we were going to be speaking. So I said a few questions before we hop into resistance 1942. You were terrific and Independence Day. Why does that movie work so well? Judd.
A highlight from [encore] 612: After the Fire
"Hey there, it's Ada. And slow down producer Micah. We will return in the new year with episodes from a fantastic new host. And you'll be in great hands. Meanwhile, we returning to a selection from the episodes I hosted in my tenure. This week, we are bringing you episodes on the theme of romantic love. I'm Ada limon, and this is the slowdown. I have always been fascinated by ex lovers, and their role in my life now. My boyfriend from college and I are still friends. My two high school boyfriends and I are friendly, though, a little distant. But as the years go by, there are some exes I'd rather not run into, and a few, I'd like to see. What is it about some people? The ones to whom were always somewhat connected. A few months ago, I was briefly in New York, and one of the first people I ran into outside the pencil factory in greenpoint was an ex-boyfriend of mine, from over 15 years ago. He was still kind, funny, and handsome. We laughed, and his beautiful young companion, took a group photo of us outside on the sidewalk. He didn't stay for a drink. But even the short ketchup was, what's the word? Sweet. My husband was with me, and he and my ex talked briefly about music and the pandemic, and how different everything was. And also the same. It was just good to know we were all safe and okay. I suppose that's the thing about exes. Time goes on, but the moment you share together, that has stopped, stayed frozen, like a film still, from a movie. In today's gorgeous poem we see an achingly true depiction of the moment when two old lovers meet again. After the fire, by Gregory, Frazier. I heard you were going to Italy. He said, you heard correct? She said you finally did it. He said, I am happy for you. I'm happy for myself. She said one of scarlatti sonatas poured through the wide French doors, and a toast went up to the hosts, who announced they had been summoned by the spirits to throw the little soiree. Sometimes he said, I feel so. I don't know. Droopy. When I think of us, like a glove, he said, on a hand without fingers. Funny, she said, I sometimes feel like the hand. Wind moved like memory through a stand of pines, and then, as though a great umbrella sprang open. It was night. He looked absently, off the veranda, and thought of days that followed her exit, stretched on end, uniform, and, like pavement slabs. Do you miss me? He said? Do you miss me? She said? I missed the self I was with you. He said. His face was a letter torn to pieces and taped together. She trembled, like the wire inside a lightbulb. Do you remember, she said, when you told me, poetry is for those who walk in their sleep. Do you remember, he said, when you called a self portrait a canvas you paint yourself out of. She let slip a trickle of laughter, then shut the tap. It was getting late. Soon the guests would find and vanish into their coats. This life is just the clang of a bell, he said. They kept quiet, then, for what seemed like a very long while. Venice, he asked, at last. Florence, Rome, none of these, she said. I'm off to a tiny borgo in the umbrian hills called posting llano. He squinted for a moment. After the fire, he said. So the brochure said, she said. The slowdown is a production of American public media in partnership with the poetry foundation. To get a poem delivered to daily, go to slow down show dot org and sign up for our newsletter. Find us on Instagram and Twitter at slow down show. My confidence in ourselves and in our future what a nation we could be. I'm John Nietzsche, and this is it was said season two. A creation and
A highlight from Episode 512: Audie Cornish
"Max. What have you got for us this week on the show? This week on the show is Audie Cornish. Audie Cornish is a name you both know. It's a name many of our listeners know because for ten years, Adi was the host of all things considered on NPR before that she was a reporter for NPR before that she was a reporter in Boston. I've wanted to have her on for a very, very long time. And I will tell you guys, she's been reluctant. She has said no. And then she finally said yes, and it's because I think, well, I think she's in a different place, but also she's literally in a different place. She now works for CNN. She left earlier this year to make a show for CNN plus. You guys remember CNN plus? Briefly. Briefly. So brief, in fact, that you never got to make that show. CNN plus was canceled before she made her show, but she's been appearing on CNN, which has really been doing is working on a new podcast. It's called the assignment. It launches tomorrow Thursday, November 17th, and on the show, she is talking to people sort of behind the headlines. So it's not some big celebrity interview show. She's talking to real people about real and very thorny issues and she's having long conversations with them. The kind of conversations I would argue that she couldn't totally have on NPR. So we talked about that change and we talked about leaving NPR and we talked about what it's like to take a job with a streaming service that doesn't exist by the time you're going to do the job you're going to do for the streaming service. We've talked about all of it and she was very, very candid, I will say. You see how max drops the show description there? So clean and seamless. That is an energy me and you need to bring into our lives. I'm going to study this one. You guys, it took me 512 episodes, but I figured out how to do that intro. I love it. I look forward to this one. We are brought to you in partnership with vox media who help us make this show. Thanks to everyone over at vox. And now here's max with Audie Cornish. Hi, Adi. Hi, max. How are you? Oh, I'm great. I'm legitimately great. I am happy to be doing this. I am too. As a longtime listener, I am very, very, very happy that you asked me. Well, don't act like I just asked you. You know, you had such guests on, especially in that first year or two, people that I just so admired and I thought, it's a little bit like when you read a memoir and you're like, I'm not ready to write a memoir. I haven't lived enough life. Narrator, she's now lived enough life. So I did feel comfortable. Saying yes now. But for a time, I think I still feel so much like a student of journalism and yeah, I wanted to learn more than I thought I could teach. That's why you feel like you're ready now. Now you are a master? I mean, I've been through it, okay? It's been a year, so. I've learned that I know more than I think. And I've learned that my skills are transferable. All of these things that I, you know, it sounds really silly, but when you're feeling insecure, that's what your brain is telling you. You're not good enough at this. You don't know enough about this. There are other people doing better, more important work, more skillfully than you. Who do you think you are? That's like what your darkest voice will tell you. And so I just think I'm out of it right now. I'm embracing the reality of my situation and what I bring to it, which is like some good stuff as it turns out. Yeah, yeah. I would agree. How did you quiet that voice? It turns out the media did for me, I think. Like when I left NPR, people were like, oh my goodness. Clutch these ferals. And all of a sudden, there was attention paid to my career that I had wildly was surprised by and, you know, my therapist is like, see? She's like, okay, let's walk through it. This is the evidence. Shout out to Amy. And I had to be like, okay, maybe she's right. Maybe if someone writes an article and then writes popular NPR host, they're using that. I know that as a writer, as a shorthand for something everybody knows. And so I had to apply the own my own rules. If I was writing this story about me, what would I say? And it's just sort of helped me get a grip. So you had to lead this place that you'd been for 17 years to know your worth. So is that what we're saying? How do I put this delicately? It is not unusual for people to come up in that system. And feel the shadow of its legacy. It's a really powerful, amazing brand that people have a deep connection with. And your heroes walk the halls. You know, when I first took over at weekend edition,
A highlight from [encore] 549: Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem
"Hey there, it's Ada. And slow down producer Micah. We will return in the new year with episodes from a fantastic new host. And you'll be in great hands. Meanwhile, we returning to a selection from the episodes I hosted in my tenure. This week, we are bringing you episodes on the theme of romantic love. I'm Ada lemon and this is the slowdown. When I was younger, I thought love was about grand gestures. Someone showing up under the balcony, spouting, and original love poem. Or, at the very least, holding up a boom box with our favorite song blasting loud enough to wake the neighbors. That's what I thought I liked. Loud love. That was back when I thought love was about fighting and making up. I loved the drama of love. It wasn't until I got older, that I realized what I loved about love was not the drama at all. But the deep privacy of it. My kind of love was never made for an audience. My kind of love is a rapturous sort of secret, built out of unasked for gifts unexplainable inside jokes, the oddly impressive songs we sing to the dog in the morning. It's the sympathetic raised eyebrow. The printer that always magically works when I need it. The changing of the cat box. The garbage bins wheeled out in an ice storm, and that last good bite left on the plate. Today's poem speaks to that private type of love, those seemingly inconsequential moments that make us weak in the knees. Mountain Dew commercial, disguised as a love poem. By Matthew Osman. So here's what I've got. The reasons why our marriage might work. Because you wear pink but write poems about bullets and gravestones. Because you yell at your keys when you lose them and laugh loudly at your own jokes. Because you can hold a pistol, gut, a pig. Because you memorize songs even commercials from 30 years back and sing them when vacuuming. You have soft hands. Because when we moved, the contents of what you packed were written inside the boxes. Because you think swans are overrated and kind of stupid. Because you drove me to the train station, you drove me to Minneapolis, you drove me to Providence. Because you underline everything you read and circled the things you think are important, and put stars next to the things you think I should think are important. And write notes in the margins about all the people you're mad at, and my name almost never appears there. Because you made that pork recipe, you found in the Frida Kahlo cookbook. Because when you read the essay about rilke, you underline the whole thing, except the part where rilke says love means to deny the self and be consumed in flames. Because when the lights are off, the curtains drawn, and an additional sheet is nailed over the windows, you still believe someone outside can see you. And one day,
Off the Wall: Van Gogh’s Art Comes to Life in Immersive Exhibit
"Immersive art shows aren't displaying the real thing but our review of a new van gogh show suggests. That's not the point. These exhibits can still be authentically. Inspiring the immersive exhibit of vincent van. Gogh's paintings playing on sunset. Boulevard in los angeles is part of a hugely popular global trend in projected art produced by mostly non museum for profit companies in the los angeles production. The main event is a florida ceiling wall to wall surround showing van gogh images. These are produced from sixty. Four projectors that run on a continuous loop visitors themselves splashed with the images. Sit on socially distanced cubes from there. They watch a mash up of masterpieces. Morphing for one to the next in which crows fly win meals turn clouds shift and iris's grow the soundtrack ranging from edith piaf to mode dust. Muzar sqi is integral to the production. At the show's end. Visitors applauded with enthusiasm and even whooped one visitor browsing in the gift shop afterward said he loved the show. I felt put into the art. He added the monitor's francine keefer had wondered how giant video projections could possibly compare with a face to face encounter with authentic works of art but after she watched the show and talk with visitors. She realized she was asking the wrong question. This isn't about a comparison with the real thing she writes is a variation on a theme a building on what's come before
Interview With Pianist, Melody Quah
"Curious how this job works with your performance side and Do you still perform. Obviously that's may be a different story with the pandemic as well but Have you kind of crossed the performance and the teaching pieces. And how do you see them benefiting each other. Yeah so you know. Part of many university positions. Include this expectation that you're going to maintain A performing A platform and so. That's part of my position as well as that. I've got this teaching portion of it. My creative activities you know what they consider the performance element as well but that could be researched. That could be presentations. That could be other things as well. I'm an in service to the university So it's it's sort of a given that you know you're not just teaching every week by your Also playing using those opportunities also to get to know the community. Get to know the students recruit in all of those things so well. Yeah this past. Year is has been unusual in that sense that i'm in a new place you know i'm still getting to know who are the folks around the area. Who are my colleagues. Actually we've got a department and most people were still teaching online. So i haven't met actually a lot of the of the faculty and staff In person yet but We have been able to perform on recital space and have that being livestream so we definitely have had opportunities to connect in that way.
RODNEY CROWELL Launches Vincent Neil Emerson
"Hi rodney crowd. Welcome to the show. Welcome to launch left are our you. I'm good what an honor to be speaking to you. my god. you're just an incredible career and more than that like you. As an artist have been such an incredible influence on so many other artists and Helped pave the way in a left of center way In country and and pop and and production all of that. I could sing your praises and speak about your accolades for a while. But the question burning question i have is about the intersection between What every artist wants to have your music be heard by white audience and not compromise your creativity in to do so I feel like you could speak to that. And i'm just curious where your journey is. Ben if you feel like sharing a sure happy to share. I'm here to protect and serve Well you know funny. You should ask of actually given that some thought. I was speaking to my co producer slash son-in-law Just a little earlier today. We were talking about that very thing. I said you know During the most commercial part of my career. When when i was you know top the charts and stuff. I was not comfortable in my body at the time and Maybe psychologically i i sort of started trying to wiggle out of it in a way because it felt like there is a trap that i had allowed Laid for myself. Which is that thing you know when you when people are when you're on the top of the radio charts. You know in this some time ago so you walk into a room. People look at you know certain way
Aubrey Marcus on Owning Your Day, Owning Your Life
"Doing creative work can be kind of lonely. And that's why we built the unmistakable listener tribe. The tribe is community for professionals to connect and support each other. Everything is designed to help you. Grow your business and share. What's working and what isn't and that's true whether you're a business owner or an artist could access to feedback live conversations with guests and so much more by joining the tribe you become part of a community of creators who all support each other and completely free hopefully see their visit. A mystic will creative dot com slash tribe to join again. That's a single creative dot com slash tribe. Be welcome to the mystical critic. Thanks so much for taking the time to join us. Yeah happy to be here so it is really great to have you here. I was actually introduced to you by way of your book marketing team. Who sent me a copy of your new book. Own your day on your life which It was mind blowing and filled with all sorts of insight which we will get into integrate bit of detail. But before we get there. I want to start asking you. What did your parents do for a living. And what impact did what they did for a living. End up having on the choices that you've made with your life. Yeah it's an interesting question. Because i had no my parents split when i was two years old so i ended up having four parents and all of them brought a great diversity of career but the one common factor was that they were all great at what they did so. My mother was a professional tennis player and got as high as number. Six in the world to billie jean king in the semifinals. A women so she was an athlete and that was her career path for she met. My father and my father was a commodity trader. In one of the pioneers in futures trading commodities in the us and written about in a book called market wizard excellent in his craft there and then my stepfather was a swat team squad leader and former collegiate wrestler and my stepmother was the nutraceutical doctor for all of pat. Riley's teams so the lakers in eighties. Nixon the nineties heat in the two thousands in a bunch of other kind of peak performers.
Black Women Photographers Are "Intentional With This Community"
"Today. We're going to be talking about building community and finding jobs in the world's photography and media and to do that we welcome journalist editor and photographer. Poly ringo poly works is in editor for wnyc. Here in town and a photograph published in buzzfeed bbc news. Cnn refinery twenty nine and okay player but polly is here with us. As the founder of black women photographers which is a global community and online database of black women and nonbinary photography's we also welcome photographer join banji. Dawn is a portrait. Photography art is based in virginia and through black women photography. She was hired for an assignment by the new york times. We're going to be speaking with doing about a photography and how be. Wpa has helped her find work and community. Welcome polly welcome dawn. And congratulations. Paulie up black in the photography's celebrating. Its first year anniversary this month. Thank you so much for that interim. Oh hey that's why they pay the big bucks. Okay thank you anyway. Let's it's been years. Let's talk about that Truly been a year it has been how have your thoughts and perceptions concerning a black photographers shifted costs over the past year of. Because this hasn't exactly been just another year right Now that's a great question. I mean for me. I really didn't know what to expect. You know everything that's happening. It's not what i had in mind like it's just been amazing to watch it unfold In it's happening like you said in the midst of this pandemic amidst of just crazy year I don't have to unpack for everyone listening and so it really has been able to. You know want for me at least personally. Just give me some sense of joy. Because i think it's so hard to find that join these times in Ah load is work to keep running. I mean it has been Really just joyous experience for me.