—Sensational Rhiannon McGavin is at ease among the florid trimmings of Paris, despite hailing from hyper LA. Listen as she reads from her new chapbook, Branches, and afterwards chats with show creator, Steve Nahaj. Music by Tortoise.
PAN PACIFIC BOURSE
How many of us searched the library
for the new installment of fantasy
dystopia comic thriller romance?
every other day, and not a single
late fee. We picked books best read
by the pool next door, for in this lucky
park, where you played softball and I cheered, we
also had a pool. It dripped off us like
diamonds while we reveled in tan lines from
too-big swimsuits, before we knew any
amendments. One hour of minimum
wage translated to a whole summer day.
A dollar for youth admission, four more
bought a hot dog (with onions) red soda
and chips please. We vowed to try every ice
cream flavor by September, the rest of
our allowance spent on chocolate and pink
licorice stored for late nights reading. When the lifeguards went on break
we ate on the grass in front. A chain in
the flag pole clinks like drugstore change or shells
3 buses from the beach; ants on gingko
branches whisper trade secrets.
You could hold your breath longer than me, but
I read faster. Do you remember when
my hair was lime-green from chlorine and the
coolest you’d ever be was shivering
in the young adult section? with a book,
a damp towel, a stomach like an upside-down cereal bowl.
The scales in our eyes tipped between paperbacks
and hardcovers, whichever’s easiest
to carry, bicycle basket heavy
tilting home. The plastic wrappers at the
back of my closet smell like sunscreen.
About the Poet
Rhiannon McGavin won’t acknowledge that she’s lost her house keys, but she has performed original poetry on Grace Cavalieri’s “Poet and the Poem” podcast and NPR, and at venues from the Hollywood Bowl to the Lincoln Center. She represented Los Angeles throughout high school at Brave New Voices. Rhiannon is a 2016 YoungArts Finalist in Writing for Spoken Word, as well as a current English major at UCLA. Her new chapbook is called Branches.