on his parents’ living-room floor. I never had
much luck with boys. I was also thinking about
personal poetry and how it’s not given much
time of day any more, and how
when people talk about poetry
they often mention compression – yes, it can
be that, but it can also be a great sprawling
thing. And Kenneth Koch has died.
A good example of wasting time thinking about
trivial things: I was walking home
after a morning spent revising this poem
and stopped to look at some trousers being sold
at the side of the street by an African man.
The fabric was lovely and I asked how much
he wanted for them. How much do you want to pay?
he asked. I don’t know, I said, I’ll have to think
about them. Why do you have to think about them?
he said, why can’t you just think about them now?
Yes, she who hesitates is lost. Another thing
is that I always feel more comfortable in other people’s