Moonrise one year on
Moonrise was written between 2014 and early 2016, and it catalogued my life in London during that time, north of the river in Hackney and South of the river in Stockwell. The centrefold poem, Donald Trump vs my childhood joy was written before Trump was even elected as a nominee for the Republican Party, let alone before the nightmare reality of him being President of the United States of America. Around a month after publication, the citizens of Britain voted to leave the European Union. Essentially, then, this collection was written in a youthful bubble of a vivid present that I partly believed at the time would continue forever, a present that found me excited, enamoured with life in all the ways it's possible to be, prolifically creative, and in love. I find myself a year later, moving to Crystal Palace, seeking relative calm and breathable air, from the "G-grade, 2V ball of loud light and fear" that is central London.
I've never been very good at stemming my own misplaced nostalgia, but the moments reported in Moonrise included some of the grandest moments of my life so far: becoming financially independent for the first time, twice daily crossing the Millennium bridge between St Paul's and Shakespeare's globe to my dream job, standing in a midnight pool of meadow scent and supermoon light, dancing in the moat of an ancient Serbian fort with my best friend, ending my longest and most serious relationship. All these moments are real, but their retellings in poems makes them unreal, too. That's something I've learnt. The moments become enormous, branching and flowering and becoming strangled by ivy and bindweed of other ideas and memories and new associations.
I guess what I'm trying to say is: thank you so much for your support and for your time if you have read Moonrise. It means a heck of a lot to me. Sometimes I worry that I am being misunderstood, or that I have written the wrong types of things. But, if anything, reflecting on Moonrise has made me realise that poetry can be an antidote to nostalgia. It is honest, always. It rarely resists pulling the punches. Among the numbness, the sexual assault on dance floors, the latent knowledge of fascism and rage rippling below the apparent civilisation we live in, there were childhood memories, the friendships so strong they make your eyes water, the flowers, and the calm moon in the sky who rises despite everything.