A pattern of damaged plasterboard, July 2021

Poem #11

I’m not a big fan of anecdotal poetry.

This comes, mostly, from an inability to tell strong enough narratives in poetic form. This year I have been mentored on two pieces with extremely strong narrative threads at their core. It was an object lesson in being able to know what had to be said, and what could be left behind. I learnt a lot.

This poem was the most rearranged of everything in the pamphlet, both by me and my editor Barbara. She inserted a vital and fundamental, secondary narrative element that I’d not thought of including, and the result is not only a far better poem, but very much a nod to my place of birth.

Knowing my strengths is an important part of selling myself as a poet, when we get down to details like this. In time, and with more practice, I suspect there will be more opportunities to attempt the more conventional. However, my heart doesn’t like lingering in the conventional for too long…

I wasn’t born here, but I’ve lived here for over three decades. It’s an odd place…

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