I don't want to write poems. I don't even like most poetry. But sometimes, irritatingly, poems arrive, often in the middle of the night, waking me. And if I don't get up and write them down, I can't get back to sleep.
So I get up, and write them down.
Given that poems arrive in my life unwanted, like birds blundering in through an open window, what should I do with them? I could kill them, and sell the tiny carcasses, but that seems cruel and... no. Don't want to. It seems best to free them.
So here they are, free.
I haven't worked out a proper way to display them yet, and the automatic formatting messes up the spacing. But for now, here is "The Book Of Longing Has Disturbed My Sleep", a ten-poem sequence from late in 2006... Never before published anywhere, for what that's worth (Because I've never offered them to anyone. Haven't even shown them to my agent, Charlie. Funny, that a poem can be too personal to show to your friend and agent, but it feels fine slipping them quietly onto a website, to be read by puzzled drunks who've mistyped "porn" into Google...). I guess that makes them a WEB EXCLUSIVE! Maybe I should put up a flashing banner somewhere...
THE BOOK OF LONGING HAS DISTURBED MY SLEEP
Poems are so hard to read
My daughter says
I wrote a poem
I write these tiny poems
And now we have the internet
Eventually the dawn will screw me up.
The motor of the refrigerator cuts in,
Nothing happens for a while.
The motor kicks in again.
This is good.
Poems are so hard to write
I should have written more when I was young
As I sit here writing this
You get up at five in the morning
But your wife is beautiful.
You make a note at the top of a new page
Of course it would have been nice
But that is what the sun is for
In fact, here it comes now
(Julian Gough, Berlin, 4.35am to 7.25am, December 15th 2006.)
Copyright © 2007, both the real and the fictional Julian Gough. All rights reserved. Copy anything you like for your poorer friends (but make the rich ones buy it).