Episode #11 | Rhiannon McGavin
—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.

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.