Excerpted from my forthcoming book, Tell the Turning, here’s my poem Role Model, voiced by Molly Lewis:
I discovered a little while back how much I love to hear other folks’ voices read my poems. My friends’ voices are a particular delight.
Something I’ve been noticing about that: a small glimpse of how a person encounters a poem is audible when they read it to you. Something of which words or lines surprised them, or recognized them; of where they feel the heart of the poem; of what made them choose this one to read in the first place. All of these things are additional small gifts for (me, and) you, the listener.
Role Model Imagine I said I wish to live as a bank of Nootka roses. Catching breaths equally with my thicket of thin curved daggers, my swooning scent. Showing off my hips in winter, round or wrinkled, sun-cupped, bitter. Exactly what you need. Sinking my feet strong in salty marshes, limbering my skin to ocean's whisper. Imagine I am planted here, beautiful and sharpening my knives.
Molly Lewis, voice of Role Model, is a songwriter, ukelele wizard, and deadpan-hilarious human. Also the person who introduced me to the concept of putting your salad directly on your pizza—it’s genius, and I’m never going back. Once she wrote a whole musical called Thanksgiving vs. Christmas, a Thanksgiving-travel tradition in my household ever since.