Episode 58 — Melissa Broder


Melissa Broder is the guest.  Her new poetry collection, entitled Meat Heart, is now available from Publishing Genius Press.  And by day she is the publicity manager for Penguin Group.

Says Publishers Weekly:

Broder’s second collection cranks up the weird by mining the grotesqueries of her speakers’ relationships with men, god, the self, and food. That these elements often become indistinguishable–as in “Ciao Manhattan,” where “It is so god/ When the voice is like wheat// Spooned wheat/ In whole milk”–is evidence of Broder’s talent for showing us our contemporary conflict: god is both a haven from the grotesque and the name we rail against when we aren’t safe from it. But Broder is smarter than to suggest that there are only two sides to this dilemma. Out to “crucify boredom,” her poems show us how any relationship with the divine is no less at risk of engendering grotesque lust. “Yesterday the worship rattled like an engine,” she writes, and “God keeps unfurling me/ with god’s gigantic helium.” What makes Broder such a pleasure on the page is her insistence that these dramas play out on a workaday stage infused with surreal Pop and imaginative muscle. “When the last Beatle dies,” she tells us in “Ringo,” “the president hits a kill switch/ and all our possessions/ drift like eyelashes/ through a crack in the sky.” In Broder’s hands, it’s good to kiss them good-bye.

Topics of conversation include:  stalking, public relations, poetry, self-identification, nose-picking, oversensitivity, rhyming, Rolling Harvey Down the Hill, publication, insecurity, social media, Legos, non-reality based Tweeting, workaholism, style, Bryn Mawr, addiction, Philadelphia, all-girls schools, puberty, Are You There God?  It’s Me, Margaret, self-piercing, shrooming, virginity, Pink Floyd laser light shows, darkness, excesses, mentoring, adrenaline, public speaking, panic, Jack Kerouac, Boulder, San Francisco, and the commodification of New Age spirituality.