I have been looking at some old poems, lines I wrote over ten years ago and thinking that had I wrote them today they would have been laid out differently. This is a poem I have always liked.
I keep watch
sometimes I am invisible
pass through the crowd unseen
in another life I would have tailed you
noted down your conversation
those you stopped to talk with
reported you for some meaningless infraction
here you bump into me
I am happy not to be seen
out of phase
you do not follow me
I keep watchYou can read the original version here. All I have done is let the poem breathe and removed the rather staid punctuation.
Similarly with this one.
Even with an industrial strength steamer
the paper will blister and bubble
before flensing under scraper blade.
It will take longer to remove than to fit.
no worries if the paper stretched
it will cover many things.
In this case institutional green walls
the shade of urinals and forgotten wards.
It seems the whole house was this colour.
Did it comfort the painter
knowing every room was identical?
Was the woodchip a stop gap?
Or an illustration of limited thinking?
There are no pencilled signatures under the coarse paper
no record of identity or belonging.
The job expands and takes forever.I've changed the odd word. A flensing tool is what was used to peel the fat off dead whales [I know it's disgusting but the image works]. You can read the original here.
I am on a poetry retreat this weekend with the Secret Poets, hopefully I shall have some new poems for you next week. I leave you with Loch Lomond who are recording a new album as I write.Until next time.