The Manchester Review
Jenny Bornholdt
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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