Glimpses of Notes is a life’s work. It is a semi-autobiographical poem of around 25,000 words which I (Alan Corkish) began composing about 25 years ago. I guess it is now finished; although the autobiographical part will hopefully tick-on and be added to for a few years yet.
The phrase ‘semi-autobiographical’ is intended to shield me from critics who say; ‘That isn’t how it was at all…’ because they, and their alleged ‘history’, see it differently… what matters is that the contents of this poem are honest-to-me, the events recorded and the influence they had on myself as a single individual in a world populated by six or seven billion others is honest-to-me. I try, throughout, to record accurately all things stemming from the multiple individuals who I was at various stages of my journey through life and who I have evolved into currently; be it my broken marriages, my lost children, my mental-illness, the wasted years of my youth or my, at-times, addictive personality.
When I began this project it took the guise of a personal and secret diary and so there was no point in concealing ‘truths’ because to do so would be to conceal them only from my self. Later, when the idea shaped to present this as a public poem, to expose the details to a critical public, I re-read it all and flinched often, flinched so often in fact that I put it back in its box several times before making the decision to just launch it; warts-and-all. Some friends, colleagues and academics who have read it have pronounced upon my ‘bravery’, others upon my ‘foolishness’; neither are entirely correct because I went through the bravery and foolishness phases many years ago and discarded them in favour of what can best be described as a sort of pride in all that I have been; including the drunken bully and the strutting academic; when all is said and done each and every one of us is simply one in seven billion and that sobering notion somewhat dilutes both the bravery and the foolishness.
Some distinguished people have commented favourably on this humble offering and I thank them for that because the individual I am currently appreciates such praise… but I will indubitably evolve into someone else, someone who doesn’t give a damn about what anyone says, someone about whom they will talk about in the past-tense, someone who will join with the billions and billions of those who walked this planet for a mere moment in time before joining the ranks of the dead. Such a thought neither please nor frightens me because it is inevitable. Nor do I take pride in leaving behind some words-on-paper for generations to come to read and hopefully enjoy, for such pride would indeed be foolish... one day all will dissolve to nothingness and with it not only my faint vanity but yours too.
That, in my mind, the mind of the 'current me', is indisputable and perversely reassuring... may you enjoy your brief journey as much as I enjoyed mine...
NOTE: The online version is incomplete due to technical difficulties
The FULL PRINTED version is complete