Spring and summer brought many firsts to Philadelphia Stories: our first contest, the Rosemont Writer’ s Retreat, and the launch of PS Books, our new regional books division.
Broad Street is set in Philadelphia during the height of the grunge-rock scene of the early-nineties. Why did you choose this setting, and how does it factor into the story?
I was in a Philadelphia band called Mae Pang, which was mainly a chick rock garage band that started in the mid-90s. It was a great time for
Had they had different names,
or had this not been her first job
Stateside, or had the guy
just ordered instead of insisting
He took my hand
that grey day
trees emptied of birds.
So we were watching
a documentary on cows standing
not in fields of green grass
like we saw Upstate, but
The two-headed pig was jammed into a jar
so I couldn’t tell it from the cat with two bodies
or the cloven-hoofed devil baby discovered
dead in a dumpster in New Jersey but Snake Girl
was alive— no arms, no legs, no bones in her body.
As the three men rush the cab – your cab – the truth hits: what only happens to others is about to happen to you. You are not the exception.
In a better world
casinos comp grafts for those about to be burned,
poetry workshops include vocational training,
It’s a miracle we survive at all,
I say, as we walk the cases,
wincing at a colon as big as a stove pipe,
scowling at ribs deformed
I took the subway to the party in Center City. I walked from the stop down a quiet street in the business district, where merchandise peeked out from behind thick steel gates. As I approached the address of the old brownstone, I heard the muffled sound of voices and the latest Nirvana album. I felt a wash of panic. I could be back home and under my blanket in twenty minutes; but my feet kept moving forward. I found the appropriate apartment number, rang the bell, and was buzzed in without question.
The party was a crowded gathering of hipsters. I scanned the room for familiar faces, feeling stupid. The few I recognized looked at me, then quickly turned away. Finally, I spotted Noelle.