This week, have been going through unpublished work, revising. Cutting out excess. Tightening. Changing words. Finding redundancies that previously seemed integral. Always the struggle of sound and sense: what may sound good causes us to overlook whether it makes sense, or can be read in unintended, detracting senses… Or on a more subtle level, one poem began well, even ended well, giving a sense of formal completion -- but somewhere along the way evaded the point, bifurcating into a clever word game (successful, perhaps, as a wordgame, but word game nevertheless) rather than drawing upon and developing the central feeling that brought out those strongest beginning lines. Emerging from all this: a greater sense of solidity, as the words - every word - is sharpened and considered… but when is the poem ever truly solid? There have been plenty of occasions of delusion along the way. The language is a palette of a million colours, and the colours of the poem can be changed instantly. (Much easier than say on a canvas…) That's the difficulty … but also the beauty & delight….
All this of course occasioned by the desire to send more work out, even a sense of pressure, as it's already mid-October, and I have very little out there…. and finding in the last few months that almost everything recent I planned to send has been marked with changes, strikeouts, etc. (a lot more than even I had realized). So it's really not ready. Ostensible reasons may be visibility, a growing list of credentials, etc. But in the meantime, sending out has at least one benefit: I am guaranteeing myself at least one more attentive reader … namely, myself.