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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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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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Stone Soup Servings Presents: Timothy Gager

© Jennifer Davidson Marshall
© Jennifer Davidson Marshall

Stone Soup Servings is a regular series for Oddball Magazine that features upcoming features 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.

This Monday, we welcome Timothy Gager back to the venue.  Gager’s most recent collection is The Shutting Door from Ibbetson Street Press, which has received praise from such individuals as Robert Pulitzer Prize Winner Olen Butler. The contents have been described as “poetry accessible and genuine going in and gothic and damn gritty getting out…” A poem from the collection follows.


Manomet Point

Standing halfway to your kneesTSD
the ocean, a vast bouquet, aerated—
as tides change, you push in, pull back;

lift salt water into your palm
funnel it through hands as big as
fishing boats off in the distance–

mermaids—for sure, you praise
God for such hope; so simple.

you find yourself joyous at pebbles
springing in somersaults;

the slick green seaweed rolling in
slow giggles which curl into laughter.


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Sometimes there are Things which come out of the Darkness by Timothy Gager

Grounded to the Moon Courtesy of Allie Gold © 2012

Sometimes you drive to the mountains where sometimes the leaves are turning. There is a girl in the mountains. She’s not actually in one of the mountains but she’s in a town in a mountainous area near the Berkshires. Sometimes she feels unsafe there and those are the sometimes you can’t drive there. It is three hours away. The drive is beautiful. There is a peaceful serenity combined with the anticipation of seeing her once more. You feel that there are angels in the heavens directing you to that small town, a town so rural that there are more horses than inhabitants. When she’s at the door, you watch an angel merge into her and you swear she has wings. If she could fly, she’d be out of this town.



Sometimes the only safe place for her is at the home she recently lived in. She never stopped loving the man there, who used to keep her safe. Sometimes she hated him; it was then she moved out to the place she grew up in. Sometimes she needs to get out that house, the one located mountainous town, as well. It is there her step father and mother make her feel that she can do no right. Sometimes they yell and sometimes it is worse. It’s like a bad smell you try to avoid. Three hours away is a place you can’t get to fast enough to save her. Sometimes you are frustrated that you have to plan trips. Sometimes you doubt that angels really have wings.


Sometimes when you plan it, you can pick her up and she stays with you. You sit and have coffee in your living room. Then you have dinners in softly lit restaurants. Sometimes the restaurant’s walls are maroon or plumb or other warm colors. The two of you make love when you get home. When you are done, you make love again. Sometimes it lasts three hours in which time everything goes away. When she gets up from bed, you smell the clothes she had been wearing. When she goes away, the smell disappears.


Sometimes there is a perfect object. A marble is a perfect object. An egg is a perfect object. When it cracks open you can still eat it. Thread that is woven makes sewn objects which can be perfect. Sometimes things look perfect and sometimes they fit perfectly. W.S. Merwin wrote something perfect. It’s not an object:


Your absence has gone through me

Like thread through a needle

Everything I do is stitched with its color.


Sometimes there are words about creating a more perfect union. You’ve both laughed about marriage; you’ve both thought never again. The girl in the mountains said, shoot me first. You really don’t want to do this. Sometimes things shouldn’t be joked about. Sometimes you wish you can make babies. You can’t make babies because that option has been eliminated, yet there is still hope after a vasectomy. Everything can be reversed, even something more simple like a nose-job. All they’d have to do is pull some skin and material from your hip or your ass and plop it on your face. For the other, there are medical tubes that can be implanted. You imagine that you can buy them at Auto-Zone. She says that she can buy a sperm sample that had been donated by a doctor or a lawyer. You assume all doctors or lawyers are smart. You know for a fact, there are stupid ones.



Sometimes things are perfect. The leaves in her town are perfect. People drive there from hours away to see their color. You drive as if there is a black curtain being dropped from high in the sky. The angels try to fly through it but they are knocked down with such a force the only place they can go is down. They flop on the earth like fish being pulled into a boat.


Sometimes your stomach flops the same way when you drop her back home. You kiss her again and again because once you pull away. the blackness that is that curtain will capture her. You fear once you pull away you will never see light again. Sometimes the angels perk up and slap these thoughts out of your skull with their wings. Sometimes you notice this when it happens, sometimes it just happens. Sometimes it never happens at all; like the times you forget to look to the mountains; or when you forget to listen for her voice in the wind. Sometimes the things that happen are lost. Like she is. Like you are. Like all perfect things sometimes are lost.