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January 18, 2013 by musehick

You know, for the longest time, since I started writing poetry I have generally written more than one work at a time – the whole idea being that writing works with diametrically opposed subject matters or sensibilities has allowed me the freedom to use one book like an emotional dumping ground and one book to forge ahead with new ideas and theories. I have also realised that the negative book that emerges in these two linked works is generally somewhat backwards looking and can seep bitterness like an oozing sore. Does this negative book represent something of lesser quality? I don’t feel so … it is something that is real, and like the more idea driven book is from the heart and has something true at it’s core.

I have written some books that come out in an explosive spurt that bundles up both kinds of poetry within the pages and these are, I think, for me at least, the truly interesting volumes, because they come out of an intense fusion that bestrides the personal and the universal, which is the territory all work should ideally feel comfortable operating in.

In my life I have come across opposition from interesting quarters, and by far the most damaging are those that come in the guise of help, but are laced in poison. For anyone wishing to school me on what writing is and how I should go about it, I would like to say to you that I am not so arrogant as to not learn from others but I do my learning in private, reading a book (not in most cases a book telling me explicitly how to write something, it is more likely to be a fiction book that shows me how to write in the reading of it).

I say this because sometimes a person will turn up in my vicinity who wishes to educate me and assumes a lot about me, and disregards the things which are true about me (at least in my own mind) – namely, that I am not stupid, am well-educated, and am well-read; and am not writing in the way I write because of some deficiency in my self, but rather because I like to write that way and because I believe I am doing it well. I may be entirely delusional on this point, but certain conversations with others lead me to believe otherwise.

I do not wish to get drawn into a weird pissing contest with anyone – it can taint the writing and leave you with a single solitary subject – a continuous attempt to make yourself right and the other wrong. If you don’t like something don’t consume it – be a critical reader. Throw the book away, turn the tv off – don’t keep running at the patio window trying to bust through.

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