Because I can’t leave well alone, I can’t just let my collection manuscript rest until the summer when the production process swings into action. But I don’t want to change what was the initial allure for the publisher by tinkering the life out of it. So I’ve made a list of the last lines – to see how they land, to see if they give any insight into what the poems, collectively are ‘about’ – aside from death and writing poems, which in my view are what all poems are about. I also had half a notion they might make a poem in themselves – not ‘found’ exactly because they’re all mine after all, but a sort of happenstance poem within poems or an extreme erasure.
What I find among other things are two lots of mice, possible lions or tigers, natty dogs and fox cubs, poison, georgette and a mermaid, sponge cake, pastries, burritos and vegan Bratwurst, sticky carpets, grapes and celery. Something for everyone, I tell myself, something for everyone.
Recently I've spent very enjoyable Thursday lunchtimes in the zoom company of Katy Evans Bush and half a dozen others close reading a poem a session. So far we've looked at poems by Sir Philip Sydney, Elizabeth Bishop and Jen Hadfield. It feels like the most delicious of self-indulgent treats. Another treat was the 15-minute or so discussion of the use of em dashes in a recent edition of Radio 3's The Verb which you can listen to or download here. It's about punctuation in general, with Ian McMillan and Kei Miller among others - highly recommended.
Gillian Clarke's The Hours (Secret Sleep Books), Geraldine Clarkson's Crucifox (Verve Poetry Press); Elaine Beckett's Sea Creature Regrows Entire Body (Verve Poetry Press) and Richard Price's The Owner of the Sea (Carcanet).