Best Thing I’ve Heard This Week: SP CE, Pt. 3

11 Jul

SP CEbooks’ most recent publication is Kelsey Reifert’s chapbook I am a NarwhalThe collection offers a series of untitled poems strung together as a fragmented narrative about the exploits of a lovelorn narhwhal. The opening section reads:

I am a narwhal
in a movie where I
love a little girl who
has shiny earrings.
She reads stories
to these stuffed
animals and I
hear her through the
floor of the igloo. The
movie we are in will only
be funny to kids. It is
sad for me. I really
want this little girl to
love me and look—she’s
right there.

The poems in Narwhal read like “stories” or a “movie” that, perhaps, “will only / be funny to kids” in the same manner that the Surrealists, as Breton wrote in his “Manifesto of Surrealism,” sought to “turn back toward…childhood which, however [their] guides and mentors may have botched it, still strikes [them] as somehow charming.”

But more than a return to a charming childhood, Narwhal narrates a story of unrequited love with the narwhal-speaker always pining at a distance for the “little girl” in these poems. No more clearly does the trope of impossible love evince itself, than it does in the following fragment found near the conclusion of the chapbook:

The echo-call I yell and yell
keeps bouncing back to me.
No others seem to get it.
I am a narwhal alone
under Arctic water.

“Alone” and calling out for the one he loves, the narwhal’s song “keeps bouncing back” to  him. While his song might not reach the girl of his dreams, readers can certainly hear the “music” as it “booms / on top of the ice.”

Below are two videos of Reifert reading from I am a Narwhal at the SP CE studio in Lincoln, NE last month:

8 Responses to “Best Thing I’ve Heard This Week: SP CE, Pt. 3”

  1. Wilber July 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    This is amazing. Best poetry I’ve ever read. Holy shit. Super cute dress too Kelsey.

    • Nancy July 12, 2013 at 12:23 am #

      Dear Wilber, I’ve seen this dress in a super cute clothing boutique called Clothes Minded in Ahwatukee Arizona. It’s wonderful. You should go there. Kelsey you rock.

      • Ethel July 12, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

        Omg I love Clothes Minded. It’s the best store ever. Everyone should order all their stuff online at Great poetry Kelsey.

  2. Clark July 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    Hello there Kelsey. I love your poetry. And your dress.

    • Eugene July 12, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

      This is a great story about Narwahls and love and fun times. A definite summer read.

      • Eugene July 12, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

        I forgot to say I love the dress. Are you single?

  3. Ned July 12, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    Narwhals are my favoritist animals and I love this perty and this book and Kelsey’s dress and Kelsey.

  4. Judy July 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    This poetry is amazing. I’m in love with it. And Kelsey’s dress is really cute too.

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