Me reading my favourite poem, To The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me by Mindy Nettifee
I did a thing for The Poetry Foundation’s Record A Poem thing, where you can record yourself reading your favourite poem and post it to their group. They’re also doing a thing where you record yourself reading an excerpt from Coleridge’s Rime Of The Ancient Mariner and they will choose bits of readings and stick it all together and make a thing. I’m using the word thing a lot at the moment. Anyway, I love reading out loud and it is distracting me from awful things happening right now so I thought maybe you’d like to hear me reading this wonderful piece and being all English and wotnot. And if you like my silly voice and fancy hearing something else let me know. Keeps me busy when I’m not at the hospital, yeah?
And if you want to read along with me:
To The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me
I am writing you from an eight foot snow drift
somewhere south of somewhere.
I would call, but I lost my phone two days ago
at the ice rink pity party that was really just me,
a frozen lake, some cheap Russian vodka and
a depressed polar bear. (Those guys are dark.)
I still have six waterproof matches
and what Vogue Magazine assures me
is twenty extra pounds of body fat.
No, I am not proud of myself.
No, I am not “done with my obsession with Survivalism.”
But I am sorry, I am sorry we fought.
You were right when you said writing poetry is not a real skill
applicable post-apocalypse, and I said but who will tell the good stories,
and you said guys who can fish with their bare hands.
It turns out that’s really hard.
Trout are ticklish,
and my hands do not have to do what I tell them to,
some sort of freezing cold water clause.
I have nothing but the time and space I’ve been pining for now,
and I am using this opportunity to try and remember
why I thought this was a good idea.
I think it had something to do with Escape,
which has permanent offices in the romance division of my brain
and ground troops in my solar plexus.
The flight instinct comes on quicksand,
muscles out all rational thought,
starts Morse coding my limbic system with
complex dots and dashes for strange verbs that mean,
roughly translated: “joyous chewing your leash off,”
and “fire without readiness or aim.”
It always feels so right to go,
like it’s the only story my body knows by heart:
the creation myth of Alaskan shorebirds,
the bedtime story highways whisper to dirt roads,
the real reason horses sometimes obey.
You really wanted to marry me didn’t you?
My eyelashes are soaked now.
I’m beginning to think I will never see you again,
that I will never see anything again
but the twenty yards or so of visibility
in stark panorama around my broken sled.
I feel like an idiot, but I’m not scared.
You’d think I would be scared.
These are the soft frozen fields tundra vacations too,
the great white quiet.
No one to distrust.
I deserve this.
You would be amazed how much light there is.
The stars stay out all night.
Each snow flake is a mirror.