I was speaking with my sister recently and she mentioned an assault on her senses that shook her to her very core.
It was me. My voice to be specific.
She recounted a tale of innocence that devolved into horror, as she was enjoying the musical stylings of Jay-Z, when SUDDENLY she heard the silky smooth words of the poem Wanting stream in her ears.
Disoriented and confused, she sought to comprehend what she was listening to, and then in disassociated disgust, she realized WHO she was listening to.
My poor sister continued to regale me with her tale of woe. She advised how she furiously closed app after app that could possibly be streaming music to get to the culprit. She didn’t mention on which platform the Written By Grimes: The Podcast was playing, but she did eventually find it and close it.
It’s kinda funny and a little disheartening – though completely understandable – that my little sister reacted the way she did when Wanting began. It is the first, but certainly won’t be the last, poem read in a moderately steamy voice.
Growing up we would sing each other Happy Birthday in our silly rendition of Marilyn Monroe to President Kennedy voice. Now that we are older and are often not with one another on our birthdays, we call and leave these over the top, smarmy salutations on one another’s voicemails.
It is hilarious and heartfelt, and is a nice reminder of our sometimes ridiculous childhood, but I suppose it takes on a much different meaning when similar tones are now being employed in more public spaces.
Not necessarily a tone you want to hear from your sibling, and definitely not one you wish poured directly in your ear.
I sympathize. I find it funny as all get out, but I sympathize.
Being able to shift tones to flow between chipper to incredulous, mournful to sultry is an important skill when conveying emotion when you are speaking to anyone. It is just as important when trying to convey the impact or import of a poem.
The two clips below have been my constant inspiration for what it means to be sultry and silly. Late 80’s to 90’s Kathleen Turner (Romancing the Stone, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and War of the Roses) for that raspy sexy voice and Madeline Khan’s character from Blazing Saddles, Lili Von Shtüpp, for the absolute over the top comedic embodiment of desire.
It never ceases to amaze me how funny families are. They can be supportive and loving, but sometimes there are hard lines that exist where it is difficult to conceptualize or accept your family member operating on the other side of them.
You may recall my post Redacted, wherein I told my brother about my first completed novel. He expressed a desire to read it, but I warned him that it contained several pretty racy love scenes. He did not like the idea of reading something his little sister wrote that might have steamy scenes, so I offered to redact the love scenes and he agreed to read it if that were the case.
It was amusing, but I understood. I created a redacted copy and sent it to him.
I told my family that I would endeavour to create an episode that still recites the poems in their entirety, but does so in an easier to digest way. So I will look to Ms. Von Shtüpp for inspiration in that realm and will hopefully post that episode soon.