The ProsenPeople

Book Cover of the Week: Meat Heart

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Melissa Broder's second book of poems, Meat Heart, will be available on March 6, 2012

Rachel Shukert and Melissa Broder = Awesome

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Today I had the honor of being listed by Jewcy.com as a “Big Jewcy” (thanks, Jewcy…I’m blushing!!) along with authors Rachel Shukert and Melissa Broder (go read their amazing books!). The list has some pretty interesting folks…check it out here.

Lucky for us, by the end of July, we’ll have had both of these fine authors as a part of the JBC/MJL Author Blog series. Melissa wrote some fabulous posts in January (read the posts here) and Rachel will be blogging for us in July.

Oh, and, did I mention you should read their books (Melissa=When You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother, Rachel=Everything is Going to be Great and Have you No Shame)?

Rachel, Melissa, and I took some time during lunch last week to shmooze it up at Jewcy HQ and have a little chat with editor Jason Diamond…check out the video here.

And, join us at the Jewcy party this Thursday night in NYC @ Bowery Electric. Tickets are only $10 and will be used to support Jewcy.com..a fine cause if I do say so myself. Find more details here.

Signed Copies

Monday, February 22, 2010 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Melissa Broder, who was a guest blogger for us a few weeks ago (read her guest posts here), is selling personalized copies of When You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother. You can order your copy through her website right here. (What a good idea!!)

Melissa Broder’s Pen Pal #2

Friday, January 29, 2010 | Permalink

In her last posts, Melissa Broder conducted a “Jewish vs. Goyish litmus test” for the year in review, shared the B-Sides of her forthcoming When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother (Feb. 6), imagined being in Hebrew School with John Stewart, Bob Dylan, and Rahm Emanuel, and wrote her pen pal Esther Schwebel.

Dear god,

Help me remember to approach you laughing, like our friend Tevye the milkman.

Researchers are investigating the science of happiness. PBS is documenting the findings, and they involve California.

Help me remember that I don’t need to sit perfect lotus, farting Braggs amino acids at an Ojai mountain retreat, to know the nearness of you. I pray on subways.

Help me remember Topanga Canyon is no holier than Jay Street; that Yoga Journal and Us Weekly are both magazines.

Somehow, my people found you in ghettos, eating miltz and schmaltz. Later you blessed them with cole slaw and corned beef.

This summer I ate meat on the sly for a week. Bless me too.

Yours truly,

Melissa

Melissa Broder is the author of When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother. She is the curator of the Polestar Poetry Series and the Chief Editor of La Petite Zine. She is the winner of the Jerome Lowell Dejur Award and the Stark Prize for Poetry. Broder received her BA from Tufts University and is currently in the MFA program at the CCNY. By day, she works as a literary publicist. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including: Opium, Shampoo, Conte and The Del Sol Review. She lives in Brooklyn. Visit her website http://www.melissabroder.com/

Melissa Broder’s Pen Pal # 1

Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Permalink

In her last posts, Melissa Broder conducted a “Jewish vs. Goyish litmus test” for the year in review, shared the B-Sides of her forthcoming When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother (Feb. 6), and imagined being in Hebrew School with John Stewart, Bob Dylan, and Rahm Emanuel.

Dear Esther Schwebel,

Where are you?

It was supposed to be an exchange program, but you could never come to my part of the world, the triple-treif land of cheesesteak-munchers.

I was Jewish only on high holidays and by hair iron, and I found myself in Boro Park asking your mother if schul meant school, calling your littlest brother a girl, turning on all the wrong lights.

It seemed like you had 20 siblings. On Friday afternoon the youngest ones tore toilet paper and unwrapped every kosher Twinkie in the box. There was whole roast chicken and kasha, though you were on a new all-cake diet. Thin was in everywhere, even Boro Park. You were trying, but not very hard.

Over kosher pizza you told me you had never kissed a boy, not so much as even held hands. What did you do at a Bar Mitzvah party? There was no Electric SlideHumpty-HumpRoger Rabbit, or Doin’ the Butt.

But here’s what there was: sepia shadows in double candlelight, sweet wine in silver kiddush cups, whispered gossip at the mikvah, hardcover books, radio static on Sundays, braided raisin challah, plum-cheeked girls named Ariella and Liat.

I could have stayed there forever and grown happy-fat. I could have written pen pal letters to treify girls from Philadelphia, and on the back scrawled: Don’t look under the stamp! Under the stamp, I could have written: Nosybody!

I could have sat separate every Saturday; surfed a current in the air with my eyes shut. I could have called that current god. I could have a blessing for everything. I could have served cholent.

Esther Schwebel, how many children do you have by now?

Yours truly,

Melissa

Melissa Broder is the author of When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother. She is the curator of the Polestar Poetry Series and the Chief Editor of La Petite Zine. She is the winner of the Jerome Lowell Dejur Award and the Stark Prize for Poetry. Broder received her BA from Tufts University and is currently in the MFA program at the CCNY. By day, she works as a literary publicist. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including: Opium, Shampoo, Conte and The Del Sol Review. She lives in Brooklyn. Visit her website http://www.melissabroder.com/

Famous Jews You Went to Hebrew School With

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | Permalink

In her last posts, Melissa Broder conducted a “Jewish vs. Goyish litmus test” for the year in review and shared the B-Sides of her forthcoming When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother (Feb. 6).

Jon Stewart 
got you stoned behind the bimah.

Joe Lieberman 
wouldn’t stop talking about Schindler’s List.

Kenny G. 
grew misty during Oseh Shalom.

Ad-Rock
felt you up at Mike D’s parents’ house.

Gloria Steinem 
took offense to the book of Genesis.

Slash 
burned down the sukkah.

Rahm Emanuel 
wouldn’t stop talking about Birthright.

Gene Simmons 
was “very active” in youth group.

Bette Midler 
aced her Torah portion.

Courtney Love 
was the mean girl.

Natalie Portman 
was her minyan.

Jonathon Safran Foer 
wouldn’t stop talking about Elie Wiesel’s Night.

Gertrude Stein 
had a “thing” for Queen Vashti.

Paula Abdul 
sniffed gluesticks.

Amy Winehouse 
took the teen tour by storm.

Alicia Silverstone
didn’t eat the kreplach.

Mark Chagall
wouldn’t stop talking about Mark Chagall.

Bob Dylan 
ignored you.

Who did you go to Hebrew School with?

Melissa Broder is the author of When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother. She is the curator of the Polestar Poetry Series and the Chief Editor of La Petite Zine. She is the winner of the Jerome Lowell Dejur Award and the Stark Prize for Poetry. Broder received her BA from Tufts University and is currently in the MFA program at the CCNY. By day, she works as a literary publicist. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including: Opium, Shampoo, Conte and The Del Sol Review. She lives in Brooklyn. Visit her websitehttp://www.melissabroder.com/.

B-Sides with Melissa Broder

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 | Permalink

In her last post, Melissa Broder, author of the forthcoming When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother (February 6th), conducted a “Jewish vs. Goyish litmus test” for the year in review.

In editing my first book, When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother, some of the poems in the first drafts inevitably got whacked. Many of the dead poems were indeed dreck, but there are two that I can’t bear to part with. I want to see them published along with their brothers and sisters.

If my book was 9 ½ Weeks, then this would be the director’s cut. If it was Curb Your Enthusiasm, these would be the outtakes. I give them to you now:

Chalk

When the New England college towns get bombed
we are writing papers on the French
cubist poets through feminist lenses.

We students always come at such moments
slantwise because we have access to books
and books, plus Ritalin and Vicodin
prescriptions that make the moments
malleable and space and time
the muckamuck of debate clubs, but now
there is one lone reality
no matter what Pierre Reverdy says.

Sirens and smoking fires, professors
sick and flailing like licorice whips.

First we think of ourselves, as we’ve
always done, and how we jabbered on
about revolution and taking
down The Man. But we are The Man,
ninny nincompoops. The revolution
is on us. This is how people get thrust
onto inward journeys they don’t want.

Still, we make vows to see all things
fresh from now on. If we make it out
we’ll show love for calculus, pop quizzes,
red meat, the country music scene,
Young Republicans, frosted lips,
estranged relatives, marketing glitz,
and near-victories in extra innings.

Sirens and smoking fires, student body
president is leaving his body.

Now we understand why men live in shacks
with cans of baked beans and skinny dogs.
This is what Montana was built for.

This is when we ask ourselves what we did
wrong. Were we truculent? Pugnacious?
Bellicose? Inimical? Martial?

We only complained about bad smells
that were our bad smells; We only got blind
drunk and schooled here; only ate the bread
and purchased the makes and models.

We only disposed of what was
disposable and then disposed of the rest.

California Musts

All week your sister was in town and it went like this:
you setting perfect moods on too-many excursions

and her nodding: Good. A joint for Jimi Hendrix
on Haight-Ashbury, a pipe for Joni Mitchell

in Muir Woods, bong hits in the backseat at Baker Beach
with Janis Joplin. She liked it the way civilians

who are not on the run always like California,
which is to say she appreciated the landscape

but felt no compulsion to stay. Then there was you,
3000 miles from home and still on a tear

through the woods over Sutro Heights, worried she wouldn’t
see the city through your eyes, calling out to her

behind you: Here’s the thing about San Francisco!
One minute you’re in a magic forest and the next

you’re at a fine restaurant. Even when your slick flats
hit the roots of a craggy Eucalyptus and you

fell into a wet patch of flowering succulents
you did not simply lay back and watch the sky spinning

over you. There was too much thereness there to relax.
And what after? After, the sweet bud would stop working

altogether and you’d reach out for whiskey
and Xanax, in thick spindles of blackout timezone,

to calibrate your metronome with the West coast
where the ocean forces you to stop running places

and run in place. East coast you would bubble up
inside, and when it hit skin you’d twitch. You’d call

your sister on New Years Eve and say: I bet you’re lit,
this is the night for amateurs.
 You’d be lit too.

Melissa Broder is the author of When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother. She is the curator of the Polestar Poetry Series and the Chief Editor of La Petite Zine. She is the winner of the Jerome Lowell Dejur Award and the Stark Prize for Poetry. Broder received her BA from Tufts University and is currently in the MFA program at the CCNY. By day, she works as a literary publicist. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including: Opium, Shampoo, Conte and The Del Sol Review. She lives in Brooklyn. Visit her website http://www.melissabroder.com/

Jewish vs. Goyish: The Year in Review

Monday, January 25, 2010 | Permalink

Melissa Broder, author of the forthcoming When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother (February 6th), is guest-blogging all week for MyJewishLearning and the Jewish Book Council. Visit her website at www.melissabroder.com.

Allow me to excavate my favorite Lenny Bruce schtick—the Jewish vs. Goyish litmus test—and apply it to some of the cultural, uh, gems of our time.

Remember, in Bruce-speak, Jewish and Goyish do not depict the religion of a person, place or thing, but rather, connote an essence.

All apologies Mr. Bruce.

Conan is Goyish and Jay Leno is Jewish.

Gossip Girl is Goyish (save for Dan Humphrey and Henri Bendel—they’re big-time Jewish).

Mad Men? Goyish. (Though Burt Cooper is Jewish.)

Dancing with the Stars? Jewish.

Idol? Goysville.

MTV’s Jersey Shore must be taken piecemeal. Snooki, Sammi “Sweetheart” and The Situation are Jewish. J-WOWW, Ronnie and Vinny are Goyish. Pauly D is Goyish, but his haircare is Jewish.

The Biggest Loser is very Jewish, very Jewish.

Twitter and Facebook are both Jewish.

The Kindle is Goyish.

iPhone? Goyish.

Blackberry? Jewish.

BPA-free water bottles are Goyish.

The Underwear Bomber is Goyish (but his underwear are Jewish).

Healthcare Reform is Jewish. (Sorry Lieberman.)

Bailouts are also Jewish.

John and Kate are both Goyish.

The Octomom is Jewish.

Brangelina is Goyish (but her lips are Jewish).

Brittany Murphy was Jewish in Clueless, but turned Goyish with Ashton and the weight loss. Simon Monjack, however, is Jewish.

Charlie Sheen is Jewish. Brooke Burke is Goyish (though technically Jewish).

Bernie Madoff is Jewish, but his sons are Goyish.

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren are a pair of golfin’ Goys.

Taylor Swift? Goyish.

Carrie Underwood? Goyoyoy.

Lady Gaga? Jewish.

Beyonce and Jay-Z make a nice Jewish couple.

Rihanna, yeah, I was basically Bat Mitzvah’ed with her.

Twilight series? Goyish.

The Hangover? Jewish.

Julie and Julia is Jewish as a kreplach.

Avatar is Goyish.

Michael Jackson is….discuss.

Melissa Broder is the author of When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother. She is the curator of the Polestar Poetry Series and the Chief Editor of La Petite Zine. She is the winner of the Jerome Lowell Dejur Award and the Stark Prize for Poetry. Broder received her BA from Tufts University and is currently in the MFA program at the CCNY. By day, she works as a literary publicist. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including: Opium, Shampoo, Conte and The Del Sol Review. She lives in Brooklyn. Visit her website http://www.melissabroder.com/