‘Snorri & Frosti’ by Benjamin Myers

Chosen by Nick Allen

You’re always thinking Frosti … sometimes it is fine to just be.

The final entry in Benjamin Myers’ short story collection Male Tears, ‘Snorri & Frosti’ is pure Beckett, told almost entirely through dialogue and wonderful for that. Two old brothers, living in a cabin in Northern Europe, chopping wood, shooting the breeze, “listening to the silence”, trying not to die. They make coffee. They philosophize: “The world is full of uncertainty, change and confusion but there is truth in an axe blade.” They bicker. They can’t decide whether to build a sweat lodge. Full of mordant humour, the type of pedantry that only plays between two people who have been together for years… and there is a story about the time Snorri left the village, repeatedly told over dinner.

“It is winter. It is cold. Frosti has a headache.”

First published as a limited edition chapbook by 3AM:Press, 2013. Also available as an ebook from Galley Beggar Press, 2013 and available to buy here. Collected in Male Tears, Bloomsbury, 2021. * Nick Allen has published one collection and three pamphlets of poetry, with a new pamphlet due in the Spring. He gets most of his sustenance from espressos and malt whisky

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