2 minutes reading time (425 words)

Every word suspect

End of another week of primarily pamphletterie, although not being actually asked to do jury duty was part of it. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I dutifully turned up at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court. On Monday we waited for about an hour, then were sent home. On Tuesday we were there rather longer, while phone calls were made and people came and went. Then we were sent home again. On Wednesday, the thing started to happen after only about 40 minutes. They put all the prospective jurors' names in a glass bowl and select them. Mine wasn't selected. So I came home and did get on with quite a bit of work, thankfully.

Cliff Ashby's Sampler is now on its way in the post to many and various, including the author, who is very nearly ninety, a remarkable man. My heading is from a poem of his, in which he says (of writing poetry):

It's hard to put the words down--
Not the physical effort,
But the demand for truth
Makes every word suspect.

And that's how he writes really, carefully and plainly. This little Sampler is a good taste of him and has a number of biographical poems in it. Doctor Green (for those who read the publication) is Gordon's Gin.

Heres' another few lines of Ashby:

A wise dog
Raises a
Paw when his
God appears.

Precaution is
The order
Of the day.

But as well as Cliff, Sally Festing's pamphlet, which is to be called Salaams, is on its fourth draft and Gillian is working on cover images. Rose Cook's first draft has gone out to her in the post. So has Alison Brackenbury's -- so far the names of theirs aren't finalised. Mark Halliday's has gone to him (two versions) as pdf, since posting stuff to Ohio is slow.

I spend quite a long time typing people's poems out at the first stage (even when I have them electronically) because it's like putting on clothes to see how they fit. I mess about with layout, obsess about where to split long lines, test which phrases (if any) seem to me not quite to be working and try to work out why I think that. It's very intense but very lovely getting inside other people's poems, and afterwards phrases from them follow you around. Sometimes even whole poems . . .

There is much more to be done but I'm going away to Killin again for a few days. Some serious sleeping is now on the agenda and an attempt to reduce the migraine tally.

 

Beside Loch Tay, near Killin
Beside Loch Tay, near Killin

 

Four wheels on my wagon
Nearly missed this pamphlet comp...
 

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Thursday, 17 October 2019