Reign Beau & The After Man – a poem on the novel (how meta!)

I find it very difficult to describe my current project. Last night was a prime example; it’s not easy to shout coherently to a new acquaintance across the noise of an East Oxford bar about philosophies, humanity, and a character who is ‘a bit unusual, metaphysically’ but ‘not really an angel’, or about how I think my novel is ‘sort of melancholic but also quite funny’. I need to equip myself with the classic elevator speech for such emergencies, instead of resorting to ‘themes’, buzzwords and the wonderful armour of a mysterious smile.

I hope I might be exquisitely talented at describing what I’m doing once it’s actually… you know… done.

In the meantime, I wrote a poem:

Reign Beau & The After Man

I’m writing a long thing, I say.
Longer than this.
Sort of novel-length.

70,000 words, or so, I think.
There’s a character
obsessed with sevens

and colours. (I’m more articulate
in writing, I might add.)
What’s it about?

I can’t help but look away
and panic.
it’s about a being

and Being
(God, himself);
inventories, musical pattern

and the seven least noticed shades;
and online dating.

Reign Beau is brilliant
and jealous; likes to go off on a tangent
and talk around the story he’s writing

(the story we’re writing; though, for him it’s more
of a report)
about humans –

and one in particular; the girl who hears colours
and arranges her own love
with the man who is

in RB’s words, ‘a slow, solid ship,
slinking through an ocean at night
without its lights on.’

I’m about
a quarter of the way, I think,
through the water.


2 thoughts on “Reign Beau & The After Man – a poem on the novel (how meta!)

  1. Sounds like the beginning of an adventure where you don’t really know what’s going to happen and/or how you’ll get to the end. The best kind of adventure. 🙂


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