Dear Ant

Looking forward to 2015 it’s tempting to think it will never reach the heights of 2014.

Big mistake. Huge. And you know it.

Everything you did, or, more accurately, received, was a gift, you know that, surely?

Look at what really happened in 2014, those moments when you went to that silence space beyond words and society, where poems begin to make themselves known, and you will see that you will need to protect them fiercely in 2015, which already looks busy.

A word about this: unless you do protect this place, I mean actively, you will soon find yourself running dry and operating out of unconscious devotion to feedback rather than the joy of creation.

Look again. That moment in the campervan in Cornwall reading Ilhan Berk. That timeless sense of excitement and discovery, beyond words, beyond everything.

You don’t need to be in Cornwall to find it (as if you needed reminding). The opportunity for finding it is right here, now, under your hands. In your breath.

Or that time in the bookshop when you bumped into a John Ashbery poem, didn’t recognize it, and rushed home to find it on Amazon only to find it had been there on your shelf all along?

It’s a decision of the will I am talking about. Plus the confidence to believe that you both have and contain enough resources for the moment in which you find yourself, at any given moment, not just those special ones in the spotlight (whatever that is), or semi-public view (such as it ever is on planet-poetry).

Do not misunderstand me, those more public moments are lovely, joyful, even. I do know that you love them. But don’t mistake them for the real job at hand, which you know very well is to disappear completely inside the call of the call to create. For which you need silence. And trust. And the back of an envelope.

It’s very simple, you see. Attend to that this year and you will be fine. Reading because you want to, not for public display. Not for what it looks like. And writing that way, too. As you said once, as if you were not afraid.

As if you were not afraid.


As ever with all my love and prayers

Anthony x