I picked up the habit again a year or two later in college, and I hope I never find most of the "work" I produced back then! One thing I did start doing, though, was more rewriting. In fact, I would rewrite things to death. Not having much to actually write about, being young and inexperienced, I would often sort of try to "write a feeling," or mood. Trouble is, I didn't have much emotional depth either, or at least a clear awareness of my depth. When I rewrote these sorts of things, I often found I had essentially "written out" the original feel, tending to homogenize everything rather than have different kinds of poems as a result. Luckily (I suppose) I saved all my drafts, usually scribbling all over them until they were unreadable, then copying over the "latest" version.
The addition of these 20-odd poems and ramblings was motivated when I came across an old notebook thing marked "solution: unclear" in an antique bathroom mirror/cabinet that I do not ever use. Some of the pieces did not seem as embarassing as I thought they might be - in fact, I actually liked a couple of them quite a bit. There is also a box full of paper in the attic... someday maybe I will venture there and see if anything is worth typing up for your amusement.
I have transcribed them pretty much as I have found them. Some surely could use some rewriting, making them more worthwhile or readable, but I feel like they are from so long ago that I should simply present them as I left them to myself. Of course if I wanted to amend something, I could - after all, they are mine, but for now they will stand as they are.
The worst of them, of course, have stayed safely in my notebook where they cannot cause any unnecessary harm.
This particular batch were written in the summer and autumn of 1979. I was nineteen years old, and living in Fulton, Missouri, where I had been going to school for the previous two years. At the time of these writings I was working at Carlo's Pizza and doing odd jobs for a friend in exchange for a small apartment in his building. I used to ride my bicycle around town, swim at a local clay pit, listen to music, go on strange camping trips from time to time, write a bit, and generally absorb the wide open horizon of the American Midwest.
I have not written a real "guided tour" of these ancient works, but I have created a little navigation aid. You will find this at the bottom of each file. It will allow you to work your way through them chronologically, or jump to a list of them sorted by date or name, or pick one at random. You can also return here, by choosing "intro." Choosing "next," below, will bring you to the first one:
© Huw Powell