I came to the end of a notebook yesterday- July 2nd. I use Moleskine cahiers – 25×19 cm, red soft cover, ruled. Cahier is a French word, and I presume Moleskine call them by this name thinking it sounds classier than ‘notebook’. I have got it into my head that cahier is a difficult word to pronounce, but I don’t suppose it is: ‘car-yay’, yes? However. I began this notebook in March; don’t know when in March, but let’s say, for tidiness’ sake, that it was on March 2nd. There are 120 pages in a cahier, 37 lines on each page. There are about 120 days between March 2nd and July 2nd, so I write a page a day. That’s not bad, although I notice, flicking through, that there are a few blank pages, a few with just a few lines used (one with just a drawing on it). I leave spaces so that I can go back and revise or add to things; but I don’t always go back. Perhaps we can agree on 3/4 of a page a day- about 27 lines. Still not bad, I reckon. There are ten poems that are finished and that I have used (performed in public, posted on Facebook). There are a few more that are finished but not yet exposed to public gaze. I think these are my masterpieces, and am saving them for a special occasion. They are also even more miserable than my ‘miserable love poems’, so need careful handling. One of my favourite lines (okay- line- and-a-bit) in the book is ‘a guy wearing shades/and a sweatshirt stencilled KISS MY PATOOTIE’. Unfortunately, I can’t (yet) get the rest of that piece to work. I’m so hard on myself. Patootie is a great word.
Here is a poem I don’t think I posted here before. It is called Because She Likes My Poems I Think Her Shallow
Two years ago you told me I was shallow,
That I’d never grown up from that callow
Youth I charmed you with. Tempted to lie fallow
I ate last meals, waited for the gallows.
Once – only once? – I held you hallowed,
As sweet and as soft as a marshmallow,
Now as dry as an out-of-tune cello.
All the same- you say goodbye and I say hallo.
For to go to ground completely would be yellow
(Though friends would say You know what? He’s mellowed)
Ha! Goats and monkeys! I’m more of an Othello,
Only down-at-heel and out-at-elbow.
I hope when you read this you’ll ring, say hello;
Not just ‘like’ it on Facebook, old bedfellow.