So it sits upon my desk, a pile of paper three hundred pages high.
How many years has it taken? It all started in 2001 on a trip to Paris. All the galleries were closed, the staff on strike, the November weather as cold as charity. The Louvre was barred shut. The only thing we could see was a small section of the Musée d’Orsay which contained an exhibition of death masks, the soul of the individual laid bare to the knowing eye. There was a cast of a hand. They intrigued me and one thing crept cat-like to another.
That’s eleven years ago. Sure, in the interregnum, I’ve written many other things, researched so many other things. But this story washes back at me, with all its problems and all its uncertainty, there’s so much that excites me.
And now it sits, form taken, dasein, drawn out from the virtual by a printer, ink on to paper for another type of reading experience.
Already, no sooner was the ink dry, there was one thing I realised was missing.
Now I jump back and forth across the text like a flea, biting here and there, sucking out the blood of one section to spit in another, typos and spelling, rhymes and rhythms, work the dialogue of a cast of characters. Some things new, some things borrowed, tease higher here, lower there, occlusion and revelation in a mysterious balance of hues.