28 July 2008


young, angry and confused, i shat out a couple of poems
a saccharine love poem
and a sickening social commentary
i sent them off

and won myself a place on writing retreat
where i sat and listened to lots of poems about
the dissolution of middle age relationships
i rolled my eyes and said to myself
i’m tired of this same poem
they are all attempting to write




some years later
i found myself trying to write the same poem




not about the dissolution of a middle age relationship

about an open door
and a february sea breeze
blowing off the bristol channel
through an open door into a cold living room

in an era gone by i would have had a bedroom full of crumpled pages
pulled out of the typewriter in disgust
but still demanding accountability
today i have a delete key
and several files hidden away deep in the belly of this machine, containing nauseating versions of this poem

i constantly question my motivation for writing it
i rescind my criticisms of the middle age poets
what’s the harm in them writing for personal therapy?
and what makes mine any different?

if not for therapy then perhaps a celebration of sadness
keats’ Ode To Melancholy
neruda’s Give Me Your Slow Blood

but is it right
to cash in on
a white corpse
saturated with alcohol

that belonged to an older brother i barely knew

to demand my sympathy allowance

the collapse of his internal organs
opened many doors for our family
and myself
but no amount of shit poetry
will ever fully help me work out
which ones are ok to walk through.