Murdering my darling


I have murdered my darling.

Like a bird of a certain blue vintage, it is ex, dead, kaput, finished.

The new book is dead. (Long live the new book).

It came to me, as with everything I have learned, very slowly, and then painfully quickly. Let’s say one day

I looked out of the window, or was in a meeting, or was warming my hands by the fire. Then


this knowledge, this absolute-acute knowledge

not what is the capital of Peru?

more like an ache, like your hand being stepped on in the scrum

that it was over

that what I had thought was witty and original and ground-breaking

was in fact none of these things

just more of the rubbish old same

and that I would in time-honoured etc.

have to start again,      fail again

(etc.) and then      fail.

Bam. What film people call the All Is Lost moment

(there is one in every film)

just before the hero regroups and finds new purpose, new healing, new words

extra power

to complete their (idiot’s) quest.

Or in my case, book of poems.

Just 42 pages God, that’s all I ask for!

The new book is dead.

Long live the new book.



  1. Fortunately there is no capital punishment for this crime. Only the sense of freedom (after regret) and the space, oh that joyous space, to begin anew.


  2. Oh, I hope you gave it a fair chance and that other eyes agree.

    Never easy but I hope the blank canvases that await will draw you in with bold enthusiasm to write great poems that we all know lie within you.


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