Stone Soup Servings is a regular series for Oddball Magazine that features upcoming performers at Stone Soup Poetry, the long-running spoken word venue in the Boston area that has partnered with Oddball Magazine. Stone Soup Poetry now meets from 7-9 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery’s new location at 541 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square Cambridge, Massachusetts. The open mike sign-up at 6:30 p.m.

This Monday, we welcome local author and tonight’s feature, Ralph Pennel, who offers below a selection from his new collection from Červená Barva Press, A World Less Perfect for Dying In (first published in Ibbetson Street).


A Nearly True Poem About Postcards From The Moma
She Never Knew She Wanted Before Today

one was a photo of a photo
of itself.

on the back, it read:
wish you were here.

           one was a painted brick,
           worth its weight in postage.

one was a flock of birds,
that spelled out her name when it flew overhead.

           one was a series of books,
           each with a single highlighted word
           she had to find to glean its meaning.

one was a flowerbed. just because.

           together, they applied for a NEA,
           to support their correspondence.

           then wrote grant letters to each other
           that explained the need for art in their exchange.

           eventually the stacks of letters became the art the NEA supported.

MOMA set her postcards on fire.
the smoke rose into the clouds, which made it rain.

and when it reached her,
she could feel the words in the drops on her skin.

they plucked at her like a harp.

           once MOMA sent an EKG.
           the caption read, “this here, this peak right here, is the exact moment
           when i thought of you.”

MOMA sometimes whispers her name into paper.
so when she holds it to a candle, she believes the shadow

like knowing of heart beats
before the heart.