There was a reason my book of poems was called Shatter. One could say I never had it together but I think I did, for a bit. The book of 201 poems which were roughly 2008 to 2020 pretty much documents falling apart. I started to fall apart at school. I started school in 1974 when I was four. Before that I did playschool and nursey. That was about painting, playing with sand and taking dogs for a walk. I was quite good at talking. I could chat to anyone and girls. People often said how bright I was.
But, I could not put it to the page. I could not write it well. I had no idea, at four, what numbers were.
One day at school the teacher told me off for not knowing sums. She took me and another boy, who could do sums, into the back room. She measured our height. I was taller. She said, “There, you should be better than him at sums, you are taller.”
This upset me more than can be imagined. I don’t think after that I was ever the same again. Of course it was not just that moment. Dyslexia keeps coming back and biting you, over and over. There were many run-ins with teachers over the years. Dyslexia made me more and more unsure of myself. I became more and more confused.
I really screwed up.
Dyslexia, I discovered, gave me social anxiety. It’s not worth bleating about it and making a list of the issues. Shatter showed it well enough. And there was a reason all my work was lost before 2008/9. It was too easy to throw it all away.
The poems are mostly a confessional style but gradually they become more surreal, more esoteric. One review said I was trying to be James Joyce. No, my thoughts and feeling were falling apart: shattering. The foreword says it all, mid 2020 the poems stopped.
Who can say what the future will be.
Shatter is now unpublished at Amazon but a lot of the poems will show up here on the website.