I’m very pleased to announce that my “Temptations of Solitude” poems now appear side-by-side with the paintings that inspired them on the artist’s own website. Though we’ve become regular email corespondents, I barely knew Clive Hicks-Jenkins when I started writing this series last spring, and was blown away by his enthusiasm for the poems. After all, he’s a fairly major figure in British painting, and it’s not as if I was the first to write poems in response to his works. In fact, I’ve joined a small online exhibit which includes five other poets (click on their names to view their pages on the site). I am particularly pleased to be published alongside my friend Marly Youmans and the wonderful Callum James.
I put these poems into the proverbial (and wholly suppositional) bottom drawer for many months, but didn’t end up making more than a few, minor changes when I finally took another look at them. This should probably worry me more than it does. I used to be such a perfectionist! Then I discovered blogging, and realized I was only as good a writer as my next post. Some of the poems in the Temptations series are stronger than others, and I’m O.K. with that. You can’t hit a home run every time, you know? I’ve decided there’s value in unevenness, and that if you attempt to reach the same peak each time, you end up with a featureless plateau.
At any rate, thanks to Clive for the inclusion — and for creating such damn fine paintings in the first place.