This will strike any reader of poetry as an odd assemblage of poems - which
is exactly what it is, which is exactly what it intends to be.
The poems display the fact that they were not written under a coherent
guiding principle but were assembled in a hap-hazard manner over the course
of a year. The reason for this is simple. Mostly I tend to write long,
book-length poems -something which while personally very satisfying is none
the less hard to find a publisher for. However in the space between two such
long projects (one of which will appear in a future 'issue' of DDD) these
were jotted down as they came -without forethought, without having them
operate under the guidance of any operating principle, & without the
intention to 'make a collection' of them. However in spite of this there is
an un-stated but personally pleasing aspect to this work which makes me
think that they are worth publishing.
Some may appear in a future collection. If this is so then that collection
will not be a straight copy of the work presented here. All collections are
a matter of shaping & arranging & sometime what is appealing in an
individual poem is divisive in a collection.
Yet here they stand -& I am glad that they will stand in DDD, where space
has been given them to breathe a little in a way that the publication of an
individual poem in various journals over a period of time would not allow.
Were I not in the process of assembling rather than of publishing then no
doubt there would be some differences as to what to include & what to leave
out. Indeed there is one poem which will I think rub people the wrong way &
perhaps give a false impression of my 'tastes' & precedents from which I
have, but not always, received pleasure & instruction. It is not necessary
to say which poem this is -the reader, bless them, will make such a
judgement for themselves & this is a process which no writer must ever
So here they are. Odd bits, loose ends, jotting & scribblings between project that demanded, & demand, more time then I sometimes possess.
If they stand with their faults, which they do, they also stand with their little joys as caution to the over-cautious mind which all writers wander in & out of.
Even so, they do, I think, deserve a hearing in the world -which is why they are given here in the shape & form that they are.
Acknowledgements are due to the editors of Proof; Projected Letters; Shearsman; Peer Poetry Magazine; and Foothills Publishing N.Y., where many of these pieces first appeared.