That's problem number one.
Camper Van Blues (Salt Publishing 2008). That's four years ago, and I really ought to have another book's worth of poems ready to publish. But I don't, because I've been mostly writing prose fiction since then. And the rest of the time I've been working on various short translations - mainly Anglo-Saxon poetry - and of course my biggest project since CVB, which has been my version of the Middle English poem Gawain and the Green Knight.
I now have about 15 pages of Gawain, cobbled together in a vaguely finished state, and think another hundred and fifty lines should bring it to a close. But finding the time to write those lines isn't as easy as it sounds. You don't just write something like that in your lunch break. It's about finding a rhythm and a feel for the original that can be translated into the version I'm writing, to make a coherent and powerful whole, and that takes time. Well, it takes me time.
So Gawain has to sit on the back boiler until I can find time to re-read the original and get back into the rhythm and mood that inspired me in the first place.
Beside Gawain on that back boiler sit various translations from the AS, plus a gaggle of self-conscious stand-alone lyrics that might or might not be publishable on their own merits, and some rough ideas on how to fit them all together, none of which have any coherence right now.
On Warwick, which was published by the lovely Nine Arches Press in pamphlet form in 2008, but which I'd like to see as part of a collection.
Basically I can't decide if Gawain should be published alone - it's very short though, even for a chapbook - or in book form.
If it goes into a book, along with On Warwick, then I have a full collection ready to show. But if it doesn't, then I don't have enough for a book.
What needs to happen now is for me to finish Gawain, write more stand-alone lyric poems, polish up my Anglo-Saxon translations, and get the shape of this fourth book right. I have a list of possible
I suppose that question is academic until I've done the actual work. Perhaps I need a poetry retreat?