I’ve had a few weeks in which I’ve done no poetry – written nothing, however scrappy, and read very little. But over the Bank Holiday weekend I finally picked it up again and got two drafts down. I’ve been thinking about these poems for while, what they could be and though it’s early days yet, I think they have promise. I’ve also made time to properly read – a couple of pamphlets and the first issue of Jan Heritage’s handsome new magazine, Finished Creatures.
The fallow period was due to being preoccupied with family matters but also, I think, a post-publication lull and the Easter hiatus in the two workshops I go to. I’m quite lazy, waste a lot of time on doing not very much, so once I don’t have the whip of a deadline it’s all too easy to grind to a complete halt. Returning to Richard Price’s APW at The Poetry School and with the first post-Easter meet up of Mimi Khalvati’s seminar group looming, I’m spurred into action – creaky and grumbling at the outset but eventually settling in to the unbeatable pleasure of (to hijack and misquote Paul Klee) following a line into the unknown.
I have a very bad memory – combination of getting older and having had a misspent youth – so unless I write down the scraps and wisps as they occur to me, they are almost certainly lost forever, or hover just out of reach. That’s why prolonged unengaged periods tend to perpetuate themselves. And then, when I do manage to write something, I’m a bit too in love with it. This thought sends me back the poem ‘A Horse’ from Maria Taylor’s wonderful Instructions for Making Me (Happenstance).
“It’s early evening and meadow sweet.
There’s a kind of light that drives poets crazy.
I pad over softly to my horse,
now at rest in her stable. I sing to her
with such tenderness even a judge would sigh.
My love, my light, oh meadow sweet mare
may I could I…
She smiles a gentle smile of buttercup teeth.
Morning. Drizzle. Horse laughs,
I am a joke on many social media.”
My new pamphlet, Elastic Glue, (Emma Press) is now out and can be bought here. It was officially launched, along with pamphlets by Jeffrey Sugarman and Lenni Sanders, on May 10th at The Seven Dials Club, Covent Garden. You can read a blog about Elastic Glue here. I'm also delighted to be featured on Peter Raynard's Proletarian Poetry blogsite this month.
Emily Hasler's The Built Environment (Pavilion); Finished Creatures magazine; Jeffrey Sugarman's Dear Friend(s) and Lenni Sanders' Poacher (The Emma Press).