1. The thing about writing poetry is:

there’s never a need for a

plot.  Beginnings

and middles and endings you

need, but

a plot you do




are characters

required – good

ones, bad ones, central, or inserted for comic

relief, you can dispense with the




can forget about dialogue,

too.  No-one

need utter a

word; no-one

need be there to utter a



All you need do is to

write.  That’s

right: just write.  What

could be simpler than



2. The trouble with writing poetry

is: what do you do between

poems?  When

the feeling’s gone and you can’t think

of one, what do you do between

poems?  Drinking

is fine, and sex can be

fun, but

there’s nothing like writing a




can doodle, composers

conduct, but

a poet without poems is




the ending of one to the start of the

next, how

do you fill-in your

time?  Simply

wait, or go for a

walk?  Plan a meal?  Read

a book?  Just what do you do between



3. Are words worth investing

in?  I

like to think that they are: I’ve

spent my life collecting

them.  The

attic is full, the garage is,

too; the

conservatory’s getting that way.  My

partner has

left, my children will soon.  Thank

God that I’ve still got my words.



might go up and shares might come

down; prices

will rise, occasionally

fall: it

tells you as much on the



But my investment is

sound, my

stock is still

high, and I could always live in the



4. My greatest fears when entering a public

space are:

being caught on camera thinking of a

poem, security

watching, children

pointing, husbands nudging wives.


And so I dart from place to

place, from screen to flickering

screen.  “He’s gone!” they’ll cry.  “He’s

here!” they’ll call.  My collar up, my hat pulled

down, they can’t keep track of my

thoughts or see that my pockets are full of my