Series 1, book 10 of 10
I wrote many poems before I published a single word of fiction, short or long. Some of the poems I was happy with. Others were terrible. Thankfully, most of the bad stuff was never published, although a couple of the more atrocious ones were. I hope they’re being taught somewhere as examples of bad writing and giving students a laugh. The poems of mine that I’m most happy with, while not being ‘found’ poems, riff off the political words of others, hammered into shape with anger, and sometimes caressed with love. Other institutional words, phrases and sentences I picked up along the way, interrogating them until they confessed their hidden meaning. Any dictatorship worth its violent salt executes the poets first. It is the way it should be, as a great poem cuts through the crap and goes for the heart and heat like a double-barrelled shotgun.