92 episodes

Close Talking is a podcast hosted by good friends Connor Stratton and Jack Rossiter-Munley. In each episode the two read a poem and discuss at length. The pop culture references fly as freely as the literary theories. Close Talking is a poetry podcast anyone can enjoy.

Close Talking: A Poetry Podcast Cardboard Box Productions, Inc.

    • Arts

Close Talking is a podcast hosted by good friends Connor Stratton and Jack Rossiter-Munley. In each episode the two read a poem and discuss at length. The pop culture references fly as freely as the literary theories. Close Talking is a poetry podcast anyone can enjoy.

    Episode #086 Armor - Sharon Olds

    Episode #086 Armor - Sharon Olds

    Connor and Jack discuss the Sharon Olds poem "Armor" about an experience she had with her son. Connor mentions the discussion Jo and Amy have about art and power in "Little Women" and Olds' penchant for four beat lines and heavy enjambment. Jack brings up flatworms and both marvel at the way Olds goes so many places from an everyday experience.

    Armor
    By: Sharon Olds

    Just about at the triple-barreled pistol
    I can’t go on. I sink down
    as if shot, beside the ball of its butt
    loaded with mother-of-pearl. My son
    leaves me on the bench, and goes on. Hand on
    hip, he gazes at a suit of armor,
    blue eyes running over the silver,
    looking for a slit. He shakes his head,
    hair greenish as the gold velvet
    cod-shirt hanging before him in volutes
    at the metal groin. Next, I see him
    facing a case of shields, fingering
    the sweater over his heart, and then
    for a long time I don’t see him, as a mother will
    lose her son in war. I sit
    and think about men. Finally Gabriel
    comes back, sated, so fattened with gore
    his eyelids bulge. We exit under the
    huge tumescent jousting irons,
    their pennants a faded rose, like the mist
    before his eyes. He slips his hand
    lightly in mine, and says Not one of those
    suits is really safe. But when we
    get to the wide museum steps
    railed with gold like the descent from heaven,
    he can’t resist,
    and before my eyes, down the stairs,
    over and over, clutching his delicate
    unprotected chest, Gabriel
    dies, and dies.

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Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

    Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
    You can always send us an e-mail with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

    • 49 min
    Episode #085 Romance #1 - Eunsong Kim

    Episode #085 Romance #1 - Eunsong Kim

    Ringing in the new year with a poem about capitalism and climate change—"Romance #1" by Eunsong Kim. Connor and Jack discuss how the poem makes late capitalism and climate change visceral, its brilliant opening and chilling ending, crown-of-thorns starfish, and of course their own 14 year old crushes.

    More about Eunsong Kim here: https://cssh.northeastern.edu/people/faculty/eunsong-kim/ & https://eun-song.org/
    Check out Kim's collection here: http://www.noemipress.org/catalog/poetry/eunsong-kim/

    Romance #1
    By: Eunsong Kim

    like some 14 year old girl waiting for her crush to glance back i

    keep waiting for capitalism to end

    but it won’t end

    my adult life lover states

    on what will end:

    Libraries
    Birds
    Retirement
    Recess
    Sprinting during recess
    Hispid Hares
    Starfish shaped like stars
    Inconvenience
    Wrinkles
    Sunken cheeks
    Living corals
    Protests
    Anti-Nuclear Proliferation
    Non-Aggression Pacts
    Dragonflies
    Mangosteen
    DMZs
    Trade Embargos
    Leopards, all kinds
    Sawfins
    Rewilding
    Infiltration Plot/Dreams
    Oak, Trees.
    Partulina Variabilis
    Partulina Splendida
    (-------) Violence Prevention Programs
    News. News:

    Might a few jellyfish survive—

    counting till revelations becomes part of—

    • 45 min
    Episode #084 Cinco De Mayo - Luis J. Rodríguez

    Episode #084 Cinco De Mayo - Luis J. Rodríguez

    To wrap up 2019, Connor and Jack take on a poem as exquisite in its craft as it is emotionally forceful in its effect on the reader. They discuss the history of the United States' colonial expansion, the danger of using oblique language when writing history, and the way the poem's tone bridges the gap between the past and present.

    More about Luis J. Rodriguez, here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/luis-j-rodriguez

    Cinco de Mayo
    By: Luis J. Rodriguez

    Cinco de Mayo celebrates a burning people,
    those whose land is starved of blood,
    civilizations which are no longer
    holders of the night. We reconquer with our feet,
    with our tongues, that dangerous language,
    saying more of this world than the volumes
    of textured and controlled words on a page.
    We are the gentle rage; our hands hold
    the stream of the earth, the flowers
    of dead cities, the green of butterfly wings.
    Cinco de Mayo is about the barefoot, the untooled,
    the warriors of want who took on the greatest army
    Europe ever mustered—and won.
    I once saw a Mexican man stretched across
    an upturned sidewalk
    near Chicago's 18th and Bishop one fifth of May day.
    He brought up a near-empty bottle
    to the withering sky and yelled out a grito
    with the words: ¡Que viva Cinco de Mayo!
    And I knew then what it meant—
    what it meant for barefoot Zapoteca indigenas
    in the Battle of Puebla and what it meant for me
    there on 18th Street among los ancianos,
    the moon-faced children and futureless youth
    dodging the gunfire and careening battered cars,
    and it brought me to that war
    that never ends, the war Cinco de Mayo
    was a battle of, that I keep fighting,
    that we keep bleeding for, that war
    against a servitude that a compa
    on 18th Street knew all about
    as he crawled inside a bottle of the meanest
    Mexican spirits.

    Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking
    
Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

    Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
    You can always send us an e-mail with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

    • 45 min
    Episode #083 Warming - dg nanouk okpik

    Episode #083 Warming - dg nanouk okpik

    Connor and Jack explore the poem "Warming" by dg nanouk okpik. They discuss the poem's interplay between intense specificity and figurative language, climate change as context, and the fact that ice worms are really actually real.

    More about okpik here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/dg-okpik


    Warming
    By: dg nanouk okpik

    She and I make a bladder bag to draw water from the ice trench.
    She/I chain stitch/es a skin dressed in oil to make a new pot of soup.
    She/I sew/s a badger hair rough around the top of her/my kamiks
    to make the steps windward, toward the limits of woman.
    She/I eat/s club root and white clover to strengthen her/my silver
    body to bear a child. She/I map/s, following 1 degree from the North
    Star and 60 degrees from the end of the earth’s axis on rotation
    for Ukpeagvik she/I use/s a small arc of ice, cleaving into parts, reduced
    to simple curves fitted with serrated edges of white flesh. She/I mold/s
    to the fretted neck of frozen water into a deep urn, made like a rock shelter
    or a cavern. She/I construct/s a hole on the surface of a glacier formed by melting particles
    of roe and pan reservoir dust from a shelter for the ice worms. Because the earth is
    molding, burning, laughing, and purging its crust.


    Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking
    
Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

    Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
    You can always send us an e-mail with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

    • 45 min
    Episode #082 Decoy Gang War Victim - Carmen Gimenez Smith

    Episode #082 Decoy Gang War Victim - Carmen Gimenez Smith

    Connor and Jack discuss the ekphrastic poem, Decoy Gang War Victim by Carmen Gimenez Smith. They discuss the nature of acting and direction, the history of the photo from which the poem grew, the hard-to-pin-down voice of the poem's speaker, and much more.

    EDIT: This episode was originally posted with an inaccurate title for the poem, "Decoy War Gang Victim." This has been corrected. We apologize for the mistake.

    You can find the poem (along with the photograph) here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/58875/decoy-gang-war-victim
    You can buy Carmen Gimenez Smith's latest book "Be Recorder" here: https://www.graywolfpress.org/books/be-recorder

    Decoy Gang War Victim
    By: Carmen Gimenez Smith

    For Harry Gamboa,   Jr.

    Just a tick ago, the actor was a Roman candle
    shot to the sky, smudged by rain’s helter-
    skelter. His motivation was: he’s a stooge
    on L.A.’s sodden turnpike, so we have “to make” art. Got
    to rezone and react. The world the bare wall to
    his bullet. Got to rile up the populace, to fortify
    the arsenal. Once in a while, repopulate and penetrate,
    paint a list of incitement onto the walls.
    An elder told him that to overturn the city, one must
    surrender body/belongings to the one explosive
    spectacle of truth, making it ongoing. Pay attention.
    To overturn the city, not just the scraps but fervor itself.
    Not just the wan broadcast of indignation but
    IRL incursions into the workhouses and
    poorhouses to inflame the thousand points of  light.
    A lean surge, departure pinks both ends of  him.
    He’s the nth layer folded into the stand’s nerve.

    Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking
    
Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

    Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
    You can always send us an e-mail with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

    • 40 min
    Episode #081 - [at last we killed the roaches] - Lucille Clifton

    Episode #081 - [at last we killed the roaches] - Lucille Clifton

    Connor and Jack look at a poem by the great, late Lucille Clifton. They discuss the human capacity for violence, roaches in the big apple, dual voicings of memory, and the poem's incredible last sentence.

    More on Clifton here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/lucille-clifton
    Check out her Collected Poems here: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/12/books/the-collected-poems-of-lucille-clifton-1965-2010.html

    [at last we killed the roaches]
    By: Lucille Clifton

    at last we killed the roaches.
    mama and me. she sprayed,
    i swept the ceiling and they fell
    dying onto our shoulders, in our hair
    covering us with red. the tribe was broken,
    the cooking pots were ours again
    and we were glad, such cleanliness was grace
    when i was twelve. only for a few nights,
    and then not much, my dreams were blood
    my hands were blades and it was murder murder
    all over the place.

    Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking
    
Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

    Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
    You can always send us an e-mail with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

nbelman ,

Great

I love this podcast!! In each episode, the hosts read, digest/analyze, and reread a poem. The conversation is broad and deep covering technique, history, context and content but in a way that is clear. They also wander which is often mind-opening. This is the best poetry class I never had while I was in college.

frithastrand ,

Glad I found this podcast.

I am enjoying the diving into of each poem. The selections of poems/poets is inspiring. Please include Kathy Fagan next. Thank you.

MurasakiFloof ,

Blast

This is that rare and undiagrammable space that balances the academy with authenticity. Love the natural lean toward women poets.

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