You can listen to me read it by clicking the play button above, and you can follow along with the text below...
Partying with Katherine Mansfield
‘Don’t be a bore,’ says Katie
as she pulls me up by my arm
to the dance floor
She was proud to be the first woman
in the whole of London to wear purple stockings
She shows them off as she shimmies
her skirt above her knees
I teach her the twist and she spirals off
towards D H who has found
an ironing board from somewhere and
they take turns at sliding down, shrieking with laughter
She’s smiling and kissing
everyone in the room, sipping punch
now joining me at the open window
breathing in the cool night air
‘Today is a new day, a new year, a new age
It’s a new world,’ she says
‘We mustn’t live as if it isn’t’
I've shared this poem by me previously (though quite a while ago), but it seemed appropriate to share it again as this weekend there was a big Katherine Mansfield conference in Wellington. I didn't go along, but several of my friends did and it gave me a good opportunity to meet another of our Tuesday Poets Kathleen Jones and her husband. Kathleen is the author of the the most recent (and, in my opinion) best biography of KM.
I recorded the poem in the very high-tech studio of my bedroom with my phone. If you listen hard around the 40-second mark and a couple of times after, you'll hear a screeching which was one of the neighbour kaka screaming around nearby. It was a bit of an experiment, but I'd first done this fairly successfully when we had Twitter Poetry Night a few months ago.
There are lots more Tuesday Poems, which you can reach from the hub blog, and at the hub blog you'll find a poem by C. K. Stead from his new book, with an introduction (or postroduction?) from by Mary McCallum: http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.co.nz.