Back to Reading No. 1Reading No. 33

Reading No. 35Jump to the latest reading

Max Porter
Author + poet
Recorded at the Bath Priory, Somerset

Mariele Neudecker
I Don’t Know How I Resisted The Urge To Run
Glass, water, salt, plastic

'Strange, by my faith!' the Hermit said—
'And they answered not our cheer!
The planks looked warped! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere!
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were

Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest-brook along;
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
That eats the she-wolf's young.'

'Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look—
(The Pilot made reply)
I am a-feared'—'Push on, push on!'
Said the Hermit cheerily.

Winter in a cabin. Writing and not writing. Rain, misting in from the west, hissing diagonal. And now the wind rises, shaking everything slightly, mussing the trees and rifling the hedges. I feel the rain redouble to drum salvos on my old tin roof.

Last night I slept, warm beneath quilts on a horsehair mattress. At 2 a.m. a storm set in. Wet white noise. A radio set between stations; the rain playing train songs. I drifted off… swaddled in a bunk in the belly of a ship far out at sea.

I dreamt of a writer on a rock isle smooth and dark like the back of a great black whale… where was I bound, I wondered, lost in the whirl of the small-hour squall; my little boat beset, my hoped-for book unwritten, thrashing woods now white horses, illegible notebooks circling my head like so many ghostly birds.

Dan Richards