Sluts, Tunnels & Halloween: Poetry Podcast Episode 3

by The Versed

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In the third episode of poetry podcast, Nora and Rachel discuss Mark Strand's "The Tunnel," Karyna McGlynn's "Amanda Hopper's House," and their deepest fears.


The Tunnel
by Mark Strand

A man has been standing
in front of my house
for days. I peek at him
from the living room
window and at night,
unable to sleep,
I shine my flashlight
down on the lawn.
He is always there.

After a while
I open the front door
just a crack and order
him out of my yard.
He narrows his eyes
and moans. I slam
the door and dash back
to the kitchen, then up
to the bedroom, then down.

I weep like a schoolgirl
and make obscene gestures
through the window. I
write large suicide notes
and place them so he
can read them easily.
I destroy the living
room furniture to prove
I own nothing of value.
When he seems unmoved
I decide to dig a tunnel
to a neighboring yard.
I seal the basement off
from the upstairs with
a brick wall. I dig hard
and in no time the tunnel
is done. Leaving my pick
and shovel below,

I come out in front of a house
and stand there too tired to
move or even speak, hoping
someone will help me.
I feel I’m being watched
and sometimes I hear
a man’s voice,
but nothing is done
and I have been waiting for days.

Amanda Hopper's House
by Karyna McGlynn

It was a farmhouse for killing,
the kind I saw in the paper above a row of senior portraits:

girls found in the basement,
girls with frosted eye-shadow,

bangs like birds’ nests,
girls I saw and said to myself: good. they deserve it.

The words ‘the stupid sluts’ sit on my tongue.
I swallow, but the stupid sluts stick there like chicken bones.

Like Amanda’s older sister, Gloria
splayed across the hood of her boyfriend’s Chevy Nova.

From the breakfast table
we watch him open her dry skinny legs and press

his belt buckle into her denim crotch.
It’s 9 am and they chew grape gum.

We follow the unfurling snail silhouettes of their French kisses
as Mrs. Hopper lights a menthol out on the porch.

She watches her oldest daughter, sways gently from side to side.
The floorboards moan beneath her

as she tells us out the corner of her mouth
to stop gaping and eat our fucking Lucky Charms.


released October 31, 2012


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