New Recruits Episode 22: Serena Posner Reads Pearl Pirie

Welcome to Episode 22 of New Recruits! If it’s your first time here, check out Episode 1 for a description of how this works.

Back in middle school, Serena and I wrote and illustrated a very offensive stick figure comic series involving a love triangle, a lobster costume, and some boys who were very good sports. I still have it in my basement somewhere and I’m pretty sure if the paparazzi ever got a hold of it, both of our budding careers would be forever tainted. Serena is one half of the K-pop inspired, totally rad Toronto based girl group, Bandit. She’s funny as heck and also she made this mind controlled raincoat.

Pearl Pirie’s The Pet Radish, Shrunken came out with BookThug in 2015. I giggled my way through it a few months ago. I thought about giving Serena a poem from the book called “from cubicles to cottage country,” partially because Serena and I and a bunch of other lovely ladies often travel to cottage country together in the summer, but also because it opens with the lines, “as grandpa used to say when/ you dance with a bear you aren’t/ finished until the bear’s finished.” which made me laugh out loud. I’m not entirely sure why I gave her “until components float apart” instead, other than— it was the poem that I remembered best when I went back to the book in search of a poem for Serena.

So here’s Serena Posner reading “until components float apart”:

What was your first impression of the poem?

It seemed like a stream of consciousness, from mind to paper.

Which line of the poem do you like best?

“To see one person in another is / to grant immortality to the first.”


It’s an interesting perspective on life, death, and existence.

What does this poem make you think of?

The musings of a night when you stay up later than you know you should, and ruminate on the day in the way that an overworked brain does.

Are there any words in this poem that you don’t understand?

Don’t know, and likely mispronounced, “elaiwa.”

Would you like to understand them?

Yes. Google tells me it’s a name, but that doesn’t seem to fit well.

Have you encountered a poem like this before? Is this poem different from what you expected poetry to be like? If so, How?

The poem took many different turns and changed. The sections individually are reminiscent of other poems, but it’s collectively unique.

Does this poem remind you of any other piece of art or media?

Not specifically, but illustration works that use repetition to skew and remove meaning from an image.

Do you have any questions for the poet?

What were the connecting pieces in your mind that led from one paragraph to the next? Are they ubiquitous or personal?

Serena Posner is a 23 year old graduate of OCAD University, in the Integrated Media field, which includes filmmaking, and technology integration.


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