Sunday, January 02, 2011

A Book Which Doesn't Exist

OK, it’s New Year, a good enough time as any to get serious about my second full collection, the one which doesn’t yet exist. Poems begin life in a ‘Poems 2010’ folder (now 2011, of course) and move into the hallow of hallows – the ‘second collection ms’ folder – when/if I feel they’re ready. However, I have 55 poems there (most forming parts of sequences) and I am already itching to rewrite some of them and get rid of others, and there are some which, while good enough, don’t really fit in with this book and will either need to be left for a future occasion (by which time I will no doubt be thoroughly bored of them) or booted out.

I have a group of poems I call ‘nocturnes’ – my idea is to have 12 of these and, so far (in an entire year), I have written only 3. They are strange, hard to write, and it’s often easier not to think about them than work a difficult shift in which I may spend an hour and come up only with two or three usable lines. But that hour and other similar hours represent the difference between something being written or not written. This year, I am determined to write the final 9.

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