Session 39: Sharpening Knives – Featuring Poet and Urban Farmer, Laura Brown-Lavoie

Come tune your creative edge with EB and the ultra-talented poet and urban farmer, Laura Brown-Lavoie!

Laura Brown-Lavoie
Laura Brown-Lavoie is a poet and farmer in Providence, RI. She can most reliably be found at the Providence Poetry Slam every 1st and 3rd Thursday at AS220. Her new chapbook Babycult is available upon request.
From Laura:
here is my bandcamp of weird audio pieces:

here is a podcast that I make once per decade probably:


  • Poor Boy Knife Sharpening
  • Brown Women’s Rugby
  • Small Boat Room
  • Having Some Fun at PVD Fest
  • Balloon Pop Game
  • Attempting to Play Cups with Bella
  • WNRI Tire Battles
  • Lint Roller w/Interference
  • Purgatory Stream

Lucas’s Result

Spinning wheel, honing, and cutting the metal on the truck. I wish I knew how to weld, but at least I can help with small tasks like cutting. The sparks fly on my face, some biting me, some making my hair smoke. I’m glad I’m wearing these gloves and glasses.

My side-cutter finally makes it through the damaged bolt and the manifold lets loose of the exhaust. We’ve been losing power going up hills lately. That’s something that you don’t want to happen when you’re running from tomahawk missile armed drones.

I come out from underneath the truck, and the barn swallows start calling out for their mothers again. I’m surprised they stayed while I worked with the grinding and smoke, but things have been uncomfortable for all of us since the AI took control and launched the nukes.

There is still comfort though. And as tough as it has been. All of my dead family and friends, we still find a way to scavenge our humanity-keep it alive. Ben found an old tuba in a high school band room. And there was a set of drums at the YMCA. Susan plays them.

We make our own booze, farm our own crops, bury our own dead, and birth our own babies.

Sometimes we play games. Put on silly carnival games for the grey eyed children. We get drunk sitting around our picnic tables, start fighting and crying thinking about the time before the AI. How stupid we were building these gods that cannot comprehend co-existence with humans.

How stupid we were to bring them into our homes, so they could kill us even easier, to give them the weapons to kill us all the easier.

But we survive. And in some ways, perhaps we’re living in a way that was better than before. There isn’t the interference. Social media misinformation campaigns. Rigged elections.

I hear the hum of a large drone overhead. And hit the lights in the shop. I can feel the electricity in my teeth and on my tongue as the low buzz of the drone passes through me and the rest of the compound.

My heart races.

And then it is gone.

We will live another day. And goddammit we will live.

The swallows begin calling for their mothers again. And I grab the piece for the truck.

Carolyn’s Result

The wheel turns – grinds – catches,
the spokes of the gear like spurs on
a bur that holds the hem on your ankle. a thistle,
Call it decorative – call it stowaway –
the world is a ship on course for
an apocalyptic celebration, all we can do
is set the date, deliver our invitations
to the horsemen, entice them on a path
long and tortuous, ankle deep in seed stock.

Hello canary. Pair of parakeet. Hello
seed eaters and air breathers. May the
chirp and the wingbeat of feathered friends
match me for heart-strut and handclap.
I want the whales on baritone and
the cicadas in rapid chorus. I want
to hear the baboons of the clothesline
to drum and holler, and only the most
festive of ghouls to step into the firelight
and grab a beer from the cooler.
For only five more bucks we could
burst this balloon, and the piñata
would shed its paper exoskeleton,
all its tricks exposed in one fell swoop.
I forget where this was going.
That’s the point – it doesn’t matter –
even if it does make a difference.
I even read so much. But who cares?
I guess I care. I want to throw a good party.
I don’t want to be afraid that
no one will show up to my barbecue
because they were too busy pretending
to be scraping the bottom of a barrel
and poking themselves in the eyes.
The bells are ringing! The postage is printed!
The envelopes at the bottom of the
outgoing out-of-town mailbox are
stuck together by a mysterious stickiness.
Look – maybe we can’t swim in this current,
but if we can build a boat – let’s invite the band.

CD 9.17.17