Well, it's finally off the presses, in between covers and packed into boxes in some vast Amazon warehouse. I'm absolutely delighted with the production of the book and grateful beyond measure to Beth for bringing it all about from twinkle in eye to palpable form. And that form is available in hardback, paperback and Kindle. Right here is where you can make your choice!
This publication is the culmination of a long-held ambition. But I'm still not entirely sure why having my own slim volume became so important to me so early and remained so firmly in place beyond the normal span of vain ambition. My writing has always been driven at source by the need to externalise restless currents and patterns active within. And whilst there has always been the attendant desire to communicate the results, in the absence of any medium through which to achieve it, I would still write, as it were, in the darkness. So for all the benefits, egotistical and technical, that might come with public response, the telling rather than the showing has been the prime motivation. Thus my bemusement at the persistence of the desire to have a collection of my poems printed onto paper and bound within covers.
I can only suppose that I am no less vulnerable to the worm of existential uncertainty gnawing from within than anyone else. When I believe that a poem has at least gone some way towards apprehending and then shaping through words the charge from deep within that has sought some outward expression, I feel fulfilled. But not for long. There is always too powerful a sense of uncompleted business; too dominating a sense of an undertow of unaddressed associated issues. If what we aim for through creative acts is some attempt at an integration of the dislocated self then this unease is a constant goad and the creator is Sisyphus! Hence, in practical terms, the continuous re-drafting that follows, sometimes over years.
So maybe I seek a kind of ratification for the validity of those scraps and tatters that do emerge. I canvas for some response from the reader that confirms and validates through shared recognition both the experience recorded and the perspective on it that the poem presents. Thus the gathering of a great body of those scraps and tatters together in one place might represent a consolidation of that confirmation and validation. And with this there comes satisfaction of the rarest kind - a reintegration of one's deepest sense of self.