Friday, April 16, 2004

Delinquent blogging

Back again...after how long? It's been a time of shadows and confusions, and I've been thinking nothing very clearly. (This seems to suggest that there are times without shadows and confusions, when I think very clearly indeed - which on reflection strikes me as manifestly inaccurate - I guess it's all relative -) Well, that is how it goes sometimes. In terms of activity, I am on the closing stages of editing The Riddle. Once I have cleared my mind of this, I can start writing The Crow; and once I finish that, I can take some time off fantasising, and let Book IV evolve in whatever dark recesses of the brain concern themselves with this stuff, and get on with some poems.

Though I find writing prose is strangely clarifying about writing poetry. Or at least, it throws into relief that writing poems (some poems) is for me a different process than writing prose (some prose). Suddenly I am clogged by so many qualifiers that I realise that I am not going to make any sense at all. (See above note about thinking clearly). However, when I sent off Draft 2 of The Riddle, I wrote a short lyric poem; and I can say it was an enormous pleasure to work on something shorter than 150,000 words. So here it is, with the lineation not quite as delicate as I would like, as I can't work out how to indent in this program:

Whatever drags downward, the heart hampers:
hands softer than dough
may leaven massy weights, o delicate
knucklings of love,

those confusing perfumes, wafers taken
out of the flesh-hot ovens
to be laid on muteness, on whatever starves
in crowds of noise

or between walls neither silent nor friendly
where restless shadows
take refuge from themselves, wherever
no rains fall,

there may the tongue flood and flower:
harsh the stone that cracks
the seed, harsh the fire, harsher still the heart’s
voiceless need.

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