Why I write, part five.
Some reasons to write. Vanity. Maybe, a bit. Politics. They’re in there. Preservation of histories, mine, ours. Anger; unresolved, redirected, worked out. For the love of language, the malleability of it, the carpentry of poems. And love, sometimes, maybe, if I am brave enough.
Why I write, part six
Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to do this. Writing should be fun. A privilege. What metaphor can I employ to tell you how dissatisfied I am with my latest poem? How about a hydro-electric metaphor? I am dissatisfied with my failure to convert the wave containing idea and emotion into a form of electricity. When the poem, or the genus of the poem arrived, it felt powerful, smooth, inevitable, generous, gorgeous.
Where did that energy come from? Where is it now?
Why I write, part seven.
I’m in a metaphorical dance hall. There is a lot of potential distraction.
There is possibility in the air. There is a poem here somewhere, waiting to dance. I’m shy, but I gather courage. The poem takes my hand at my first approach. This feels natural, although I’m slightly nervous and slightly high with excitement. We dance for a while. I have not trodden on its feet. I have not said or done anything to cause offence, to cause it to leave. I’m playing it cool. But not too cool. We will dance. We will practice. We will become complete.
Why I write, part eight.
There were nursery rhymes. There were all kinds of jazz records with voices and rhythms and wonderful lyrics. There was my sister’s pop and rock. There was a transistor radio. There was ‘If I Had a Hammer’. There were hymns. There was ‘Top of the Pops’.
Why I write, part nine.
Kerouac and wearing black.
I’m sixteen and I’ve met a guy at FE college who writes poems. I’ve written poems myself, to be read only by my girlfriend. This guy is serious. He has long hair and wears black, even in summer. He doesn’t try to get his poems published. We don’t care or know about any of that. It is enough to be poets and wear black boots even in summer and smoke. We are poets, even though I have only read a bit of Dylan Thomas and Ted Hughes and I only write a few (although I mean what I write and remember them still) and never show them to a soul.
Why I write, part ten
I think maybe I’ve got used to this rush that is like nothing else. Here it comes, the swell. I am riding the poem, I am on it, I am cutting through the tunnel of the wave forever
Why I write, part eleven
There is a block of stone in the middle of my afternoon. There is a poem inside. I must get my tools. I’ll go to get them slowly, or at a run, depending on how daunting the block is, how sharp my tools are and where I’ve left them.