Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Blog Record Smashed

Apologies to everyone who has come to my blog to read the poem, “Soon to Be Deleted…” at the post immediately below this one, which I deleted about 10 hours ago. Astonishingly, this blog has already received more hits today than on any other day in its history, and the night is still young.

The majority of these hits have been on the deleted poem, partly because Frank Wilson kindly linked to it when it was still up, and partly because there must be an allure, an urgency, in reading something you think won’t be there for long. There is a certain humour about all this as one of the main themes of the poem was transience.

Anyway, at Very Like a Whale, you can read Paul Stevens’s answers to VLaW’s Ten Questions series, along with eight other poets who have made an attempt to answer the questions so far. Very interesting stuff.

And to make up for deleting that last poem, here’s an old one, my first ever published poem – in New Writing Scotland eight years ago.

Judas and the Candle

I’m not ready to burn
with you, candle. I’m no Messiah
groping in the darkness for a Lucky Strike
to set my hair on fire.

You’re glaring from the altar
at tongues of love and perfumed necks and boys
in white dresses; without irony you light up
the sins of the flesh.

The longer you burn, the lesser
you become, candle. I’ve borne enough
scalding tears without catching yours,
waxed around your ankles.

I squint through the stained glass;
an old man, a bitter, arthritic fist
on a stick, the squall nailing him to a tree.
I blow hard. It is night.

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