So the launch went very well. It was a bit of a whirlwind, I hardly had chance to talk to everybody but I had a lovely time. Michael and Annie read beautifully, and I got the sense that everyone in the room enjoyed it. It seemed quite relaxed, so I was shocked when I went up to read, fairly confident, and started shaking when I saw everybody. Last time I read I was drunk. I think I will need a stiff drink next time. But I think I read well enough, and I enjoyed it, I just let myself down with nerves. Cafe Nexus is a wonderful place, and it was cosy and warm and inviting. A friend I don’t see very often came up and surprised me, and I was over the moon. He looked after me when I was in Highroyds when I was fourteen. He has stayed in touch with me ever since, and getting together is always quite emotional. My family said they were proud of me, which was so wonderful. This book has meant the world to me and I am actually quite proud of myself, though I never thought I would find myself saying that.
It’s Wednesday, it’s Spring, I’ve been for my depot and now I’m working on a small collection of poems, about twenty, which I have written over the course of the last six months or there about. They are so different to the poems in A Body… they are very minimal and very hard edged. I am thinking maybe I have a chapbook on my hands, but maybe not, the poems need work, patience and a spark that is sometimes lacking. I think that it is difficult to write on my medication. When I wrote A Body…I wasn’t on as much medication, not as strong. And my moods were still fluctuating wildly. I am amazed that the launch didn’t make me ill. I had a bit of a downer the next day but I went to Steven’s mum’s allotment and did some digging and felt better. We had a picnic and I had a little lie down on a lounger and caught the sun.
When I think about how far I have come I can’t believe it. A while ago time was standing still for me, I was in some sort of emotional paralysis. I could write, I could find the inspiration just like that, but I couldn’t have good relationships or function well or live my life in any kind of positive way. I have had to take the medication over the ability to think fast and feel. I have found myself getting choked up at things on tv and that has been wonderful, because I haven’t cried in a couple of years and I would give anything for that release. I nearly cried when I read the other night, the whole thing was just so overwhelming. I wish those tears would come, I have a feeling that if I could just cry and get over that emotional block then I would feel better, write better and get a lot out of my system.
Me and Ste were crying laughing last night. I love it when that happens, we just get hysterical, usually over nothing, and we crack up. It’s the best feeling ever when you laugh so hard with someone you love. I still have the capacity for emotions but sometimes have difficulty in expressing them. This is where my poetry should come in but the poems can be quite stark and blank, and it is entirely a reflection on the way my moods are kept so tightly under control. There’s emotion, but it is deliberated and held back. I do miss that feeling of being overwhelmed by enthusiasm to write, having that buzz and that obsessive scribbling of lines. Now I make a cup of tea, sit down, brainstorm in my notebook, and begin writing things down, very quietly and calmly.
It’s just different isn’t it? People change, writers change, styles change, obsessions change, motivations change. I hope there’s drama in my poetry, I hope it isn’t just flat. It’s like learning to sing in a different register. I have to give it practice and time.
Thankyou for reading,