I tot up all my invoices to see
the princely product of a year in verse
transformed into stark numbers. This must be

the meagre weight of my well chosen words.
This is not a moan, nor an appeal
for patronage and funding, for I’ve heard

my fellow poets do the same for real
and thought each one an arsehole. I resolve
to write for love and peanuts, if that fails

I’ll pick up my old shovels, picks and trowels,
get back to proper graft like Heaney’s Dad—-
watching his son fanny about with vowels

and call it digging. That would drive me mad.
I’d have to dig a big old hole to show him
that depth is only handy for the dead

while shouting “Look at me! I wrote a poem!”


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. peter litton
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 00:46:01

    This led me to reread “Digging”

    “Between my finger and my thumb
    The squat pen rests.
    I’ll dig with it.”

    I believe it’s best to do it and then write about it…then your words will ring true.


  2. peter litton
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 00:47:22

    Perhaps that is what Heaney is saying.


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