This week, for the first time, I had the opportunity to explain ‘the Project’ to someone who has no idea of the game behind it. It confirmed to me the belief that to ensure all this makes sense in the wider scheme of things, it probably can’t just be a bunch of poems. I’ve been playing around with the idea of ‘lyric essays’ for a while as a narrative accompaniment to this work, and also had the courage to present these to someone whose opinion I trust a lot as to their effectiveness. They think I’m heading in the right direction. With all this in mind? I think I’m ready to start writing this thing in what will be its final, narrative order.

Today, I wrote three sentences on a virtual A4 page and then cried for an hour. I have found the means by which a large portion of my past can now be linked to the here and now, and the tears were both relief and fear. It has to be done, the words need to go on a page, but for the first time since this was started it won’t be poems telling the story. It will be prose, and that is HUGE. This is a big step forward for me. I’ve written a couple of poems that reference that period in my life: one is due in a chapbook in a few months. However, I’ve not done the period proper justice, or acknowledged the damage I’m only just beginning to try and fix.

This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever tried to do. I know people have faith in me, and that my work is good enough to carry the emotional heft, but getting it out of myself having spent so long really not talking through any of the details to anyone, especially in relation to my self-esteem and self-worth has been enormously difficult. In the end, it will be worth it, if only to help me move forward with my personal progress.

Even writing this has made things easier, I realize.

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