“So, what do you go for in a girl?”
He crows, lifting a lager to his lips
Gestures where his mate sits
Downs his glass
“He prefers tits
I prefer ass.
What do you go for in a girl?”
I don’t feel comfortable
The air left the room a long time ago
All eyes are on me
Well, if you must know
I want a girl who reads.
This is the beginning of a slam poem by Mark Grist entitled “Girls Who Read”, the video of which on YouTube has garnered over three million views. A friend of mine posted this video on Facebook this morning and I had never heard of it before, much less watched it. As I watched the video and Grist went through how he loves a girl who reads and who “uses the added vocabulary/She gleans from novels and poetry/To hold lively conversation/In a range of social situations”, I felt my heart warm and that familiar burning behind my eyes that tells me I’m going to cry.
I know that girls who read are appreciated but an homage like this is a fabulous reminder that made me feel wonderful. I read compulsively, you know that. I love a story that flows, that challenges, learning new vocabulary, descriptions, and falling in love with the characters I find in novels. In junior high, I was teased pretty mercilessly by the other kids in my small eight-grade classroom. They didn’t understand why I read the books I did or why I read books at all. I did my best to ignore them but the truth was that it hurt, a lot. When I got to college, I found an outlet and use for my voracious reading as an English Education major/Literature minor. In graduate school, I wrote my Master’s thesis over some of my favorite short stories, even. And I found a man who loved me for my imagination, for my love of reading. The first significant amount of time that we spent together was spent discussing Tolkien and poetry over coffee.
So this poem/video meant a great deal to me today. Five stars! Well done, Mark Grist, and thank you!