‘It’s over,’ I say.

‘You’re always saying that, too,’ the book says. ‘Always ‘tired’, or ‘busy’, or ‘giving up’. People are going to stop believing you.’

‘Whether they believe me or not isn’t the point. It’s the truth. I’ve been reading James Schuyler again.’

‘So, what’s new?’

‘I don’t know. Can’t put my finger on it. Something I haven’t noticed before, and yet which has been there all along. A quality of sadness tinged with joy. Or presentness. Or maybe it is the other way around. In any case, it’s astonishing.’

‘And this makes you want to give up?’

‘Well, yes. No. Not give up. More just wave the white flag. It’s nothing new. I do it practically every day, every time someone posts a new poem on Twitter I like, or reads at a reading something stonking. Last Sunday I was practically surrendering from minute one.’

‘Anything you might like to share with us?’

‘It’s this:

Need you,” tree, that dominates this yard, thick-waisted, tall
And crook branched. Its bark scales off like that which we forget:
Pain, an introduction at a party, what precisely happened umpteen
Years or days or hours ago. And that same blue jay returns, or perhaps
It is another. All jays are one to me. But not the sun which seems at
Each rising new, as though in the night it enacted death and rebirth,
As flowers seem to.’

‘I see what you mean,’ the book says.