I’m not about to go into those magazine style features about the New Year. I’m just circling around the infinite poetic plughole. Luckily it’s more or less blocked with the poet’s mate’s hair so I can still swim against the current of time. Here is the problem. I am a poet. In recent months I have read poetry, published poetry, edited poetry, reviewed poetry, read aloud poetry and I believe added poetry to most forms of alcoholic drink. I can recommend gin and sonnet. What I ain’t done is write any of the bloody stuff. Just imagine if I was on the production line. No productivity bonus. Final written warning from the Stanzaman Corporation. Here is the question. Is it in here OR is it out there? It used to be in a separate somewhere unknown to the corporates, some gulch where no spreadsheet has ever spread. Somewhere Pre-Post-Modernist when modern people were actually future people in comic strips with magic hand-held communicators and ray guns.
So I went out to rake up fallen leaves. Huh! I thought, that’ll get the old poetic sentimental elemental follicles flowing. I thought of Alfred lord Tennyson who wrote a poem about the New Year. I ended up wondering if a lot of the old time “greats” would have got so far up against the Amazon.com legions or the slush pile barons of editorial feudalism. In fact I love old Alfie Tennyson and if you’ve got the mood for a splash of the old sentiment, here he is in New Year mode.
And also I’ve ordered a dead tree book about some of the great modern poets with an audio CD of the Greats reading their own work. If that doesn’t mesh up my synchro gear box nothing will. The book is edited by a guy called Michael Schmidt who I love dearly. He is a big big poet bazooka yet he wrote me one of the most gentlemanly rejection letters I have ever received. It is a treasure. It made me feel that I was like one of those probes sent to Mars that never made it because they crashed heroically into the surface in a mangle-ism of metallic metaphors. When I get the book I’ll be banging out a review.
And then there were the leaves. Somehow a red leaf had blown in from somewhere else, bringing with it some quality of a Geisha scampering along a muddy street.