Letter to Faber

Even P&P’s almost too risky a read:  

although pored over twenty times or more

when I pick it up I first glance at the end

to check it hasn’t changed. With biographies too


I always need to know – before I learn

birthplace and date – just how the subject died:

what is the point of such God’s gifts, I ask,

for a stunner who will perish on the scaffold?


Arriving at a major exhibition

I start with the final room and then stroll back, 

making sense of the past by seeing the future shape

an early Van Gogh, a teenager Picasso . . .


And yet, of course, the one thing I can’t do

is to understand the story of my life

once it’s all over. But please, if you say yes,

could my debut volume’s title be Last Poems?

Published in Poetry Salzburg Review No 34, Summer 2019