I get the fear, a lot. I often think I will never write anything of value ever again. Sometimes, I look back at what I’ve already written and consider it all worthless. Perhaps this is the writer’s lot, or perhaps just a particularly frustrating part of my own psyche.
But if there’s one poem that I’ve written over the last few years that I feel in any way comfortable and confident about, it’s the one that gave this blog its name: ‘This is yogic’. It seems to me to enjoy a rhythmic and syntactical logic I lack elsewhere. It’s a ghazal too – of sorts.
The original is published in my first collection, but here’s a pseudo-Oulipian translation that I made last night using the Collins Pocket English Dictionary.
That was Yoruba
He was fine-tuned in a gum resin, Northbound fedora
and a Belgian ration of sideburns in an archbishop.
That was Yoruba. Answering machine in the hadron collider
(or heptathlon) and the piston tankard of cellophane.
She was a Wapping rambler and he,
well, no veterinarian nor blood sport.
Ergo, the site of fusible beachwear
and pawns the colour of whale tonic.
Tallboys are lopsided when the fog-lamps comes hither;
archdukes arise, hydrochloride whits.
Darting from a silver birch, the Cupid with the
pin number can honk his eistedfodd on my fiver.