Back when I was revising my latest full novel, ‘My Own Desert Places’, I rearranged all my free verse poems into three distinct books, so in the future I could upload them as ebooks to online retailers. Whenever I feel like it, I’ve been going through the poems contained in the first of those books, to update their punctuation, revise them and expand them if possible.
This time I had to handle my free verse poem slash short story ‘This Is Not a Good Story’, about a guy who meets a sad girl. As I was rereading it, my impression was something like, “What the hell is this? Why did I think this was good enough to upload?”
My standards have grown, so stuff I wrote just a few months ago doesn’t satisfy me anymore. Apart from that, I think I derived significant satisfaction from starting a poem soon after I got to the office and managing to “finish” it just as I was about to leave, which infused the otherwise pointless workday with meaning. Nowadays I’d rather continue improving the piece after I get home.
In any case, I removed around 600 words of the original version of ‘This Is Not a Good Story’, then I added like 800 new ones. I’m quite proud of the current version.
If you, stranger reading these words right now (can you hear my voice echoing in your head?), read the original version of this poem back in July and enjoyed it, I think you should read it again, because it’s like a whole new thing.
Link to the updated poem: This Is Not a Good Story