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Please Excuse Our (lack of) Appearance

We apologize for our lack of posting since Friday, as our staff got caught up in the happenings of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival this past weekend. We will be posting the belated Stone Soup Servings today and will return with 3TV on Tuesday.

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The Oddball Hour With PB n’ J, Episode 4: Tripping Out on Poetry

National Poetry Month Burnout is upon us. And it feels soooooo good! Join us for another episode of our podcast as Chad Parenteau, Toni Bee and Jason Wright return exhausted to the table mic with late night pizza and enough caffeine to share everything they’ve experienced so far this April. They also start gearing up for the Massachusetts Poetry Month next week! All that plus music sharing, unedited bloopers, free styling , and waaay too many shout outs to keep track of. If it sounds like we’re too exhausted and don’t care at some points, it’s because we care too much!!!

We are currently in the middle moving our podcast archive to a new online home. Until then, enjoy our podcast via YouTube! Thanks for listening.



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Stone Soup Servings Presents: Jennifer Jean


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 recently partnered with Oddball Magazine. Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m.

Consider April 21 as a prelude to the upcoming Massachusetts Poetry Festival with Salem State University instructor, poet, festival volunteer and activist Jennifer Jean, who will be reading this Monday from her latest collection The Fool. Below is an excerpt from the book, which was first published in North Dakota Quarterly.


Wreck Things

The last time we were driving in the city we fought over words
I can’t remember, nearly careening off an onramp.
He insisted I said yak yak and meant blah blah, vice versa, and so
rim and axle were wrecked. Our car shambled
down to a city mechanic and crashed
at his place for the weekend. I was stunned silent, imagining
our Blazer in flight. Apparently—triumphantly—
some lowdown spirits attached to city-stink and domestic ferocity
had slyly spurred us, hoping against hope
to reaffirm their own earthbound happenstance,
their own sad resignations.

But this week—this time
on our toes—we crossed the bridge, skipping over the city.
And I warned those pitiful spirits, “We’re here to play
together.” We all behaved. We let the radio talk
and drove straight to Ocean Beach where half way down Pier 42,
a few notes I had taken— incomprehensible
villanelle conception or grocery list—came loose,
lifted off. So, I stepped out on the water

at once. We had come to an open space
along the quay, where fishermen could cast long lines out to the farthest
possible facade of the sea;
where the splintered barrier wood dwindled, unable to keep me in
a standstill. My first step on water was for balance—
my arm arced, clutching after the folds of those notes.
The second step, for fright, caught me fast—
divided between two surfaces. This seemed wrong so I tiptoed,
following the paper’s flux for a few yards,
scooping it up when the wind was lazy.

It didn’t take long to come back. I hauled myself onto the pier.
He’d been watching. Maybe other people were watching.
He said, I don’t believe you
almost let it get away. I shook my head and opened my mouth,
then closed it. Not one spirit clamored through salt-air to speak,
not one battered grandmother, jilted great-aunt, ancient suicide maiden
came around to spit through me, join me, wreck things.


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Poem by Crystal Condakes

Clean Slate

You wake at night to strange noises,
I say shhhh, it’s only the wind. You think
something is one fire, but all things being equal

the poison is just as sweet
as the honey and with it comes forgetting.
There’s nothing to fear. You and me,

we’re in this together. The first time
you climbed alone, hand against stone.
I threw you a rope, well, I would have,

I mean, I meant to, but all I could see
was myself. I remember the good parts
now. Let’s forget about the breaking,

the fractures in the most private of places.
The bones of us are finally fusing. Excuses
taste medicinal and stale and anyway

I have no alibi. I miss the taste of you.
Let’s try to calm our shaking hands
as they move across cheekbones, down

the taut, shining skin of the belly.
On this the darkest of all roads, the ghosts
are beginning to falter.


Photography © Allison Goldin
Photography © Allison Goldin


Crystal Condakes earned an M.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University and has attended workshops at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is a regular contributor to The Improbable Places Poetry Tour, which brings poetry to local businesses in Beverly, MA. She has taught at Student Day Of Poetry and volunteered at Mass Poetry Festival in Salem, MA.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


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Save The Date! Oddball Magazine Is Going to The 2014 Massachusetts Poetry Festival

Designed by TJ Edson
Designed by TJ Edson

Come to Our Panel at The 2014 Massachusetts Poetry Festival
Stone Soup Presents Oddball Magazine
Friday, May 2, 2014, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Hawthorne Hotel, Sophia Room
Salem Massachusetts

In 2013, the long-running Stone Soup poetry series joined forces with an eclectic poetry journal to provide voices to various uncollected voices and gather them under one supportive banner. The journal has since expanded to include regular columns and features that help to support and promote Stone Soup and other artistic efforts in the Boston area and beyond. Please join us for a reading from Oddball’s most noted and regular contributors, including former Cambridge Poet Populist Toni Bee, Stone Soup host and organizer Chad Parenteau, and Oddball Magazine founder Jason Wright.

Keep visiting the Massachusetts Poetry Festival website for more information on this event and others.

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3TV Presents A Poem by Toni Bee


In Minutes of Twilight

The sun cannot turn the purple clouds to pink yet
I ponder bout my day
Good,bad, perplexed
I can’t bet
This the type of morn’ where thoughts rummage my head
I wonder
Did my girlfriend’s mixed babies go to bed
and think of my chocolate mother, whom is long dead

In twilight minutes I wonder of other’s lives and pray
that my Daddy wears his seatbelt on the bus today
and hope the brothers don’t think
‘Lets Play’ then spray
Daddy ducks…’ ‘
Whoops bus in the way’

That my niece dances an African jiggaBoo
‘I see youuuu’ and hope society never taunts her
as I had to go through

As sunlight hastens its descent
Sun reveals the day’s mode
As I listen to my head fears the future
I forebode


Photography © Allison Goldin
Photography © Allison Goldin


Toni Bee served as the Poet Populist of Cambridge, Massachusetts as well as the position of Artist Fellow at Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston. She currently serves as co-host of the podcast “The Oddball Hour with PB n ‘J” and will be part of the upcoming panel “Stone Soup Presents: Oddball Magazine” at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival this May.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.