Audiobook Traveller

Audiobook Traveller
(inspired by Billy Collins’s “Man Listening to Disc”)

This is so cool –
driving down I-75
with Katherine Kellgren reading to me,
her Cockney accent carried from phone to radio
by auxiliary cable

as if she were riding in the passenger seat
on this April afternoon,
the highway adorned with billboards
tourists twisting in their seats
looking for the signs that will show their exit.

In fact, I think
her ability to narrate in different voices –
from the Cockney orphan girl turned ship’s boy
to the refined British parlance of naval commanders,
with variations in pacing and inflection –

is nothing short of perfection,
the way she reads to bring me into the book
and live through Jacky’s actions,
disguising her appearance, climbing the rigging
swabbing the deck, and falling in love

even though Jacky is still too young to know.
And the other people on the ship
who see this young boy be so brave and daring,
never knowing his secret until she is stripped
to be whipped by a villain.

The story is so youthful but mature that
I cannot help feeling young again
like a wannabe pirate on a sea vessel
instead of a 2000-pound metal monster
riding down an asphalt river,

and all I can think of those touring tourists,
those newlyweds in their convertibles,
those families filling in their minivans
who are headed who knows where to do who knows what –
all I can think is check me out:

here I am flying down the highway all alone
listening to this great book,
living my own life as well as someone else’s,
twice the experiences filling my head
as I think my thoughts and Jacky Faber’s.

And if anyone wants to know
where it all started,
this obsession with audiobooks
I have, I will just say
that in all my life I have had

books as my best friends,
comic books and novels,
short stories and poems
stuffing my head with wonder
as I make my way through the chapters of my life.

 

NaPoWriMo 2017 – Day 03

 

 

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