With Poem Excluding Romance, I knew that I wanted to create an environment within the poem that felt removed, far away. Really with all of the Exclusion poems it was about setting a certain mood against the subjects and surrounding them with obscurity.
The first draft of Romance, from what I have on file, was a list of images – the storm, the pop song, the squinted eyes, etc. But do these images do anything? I don’t know, maybe. The next draft I had on file was an extension of those images, adding layers to them, dressing them appropriately.
The next draft I have on file is this one where St. Patrick’s Day makes an appearance. I am not sure why or even how this made it in the poem. I really hate the St. Patrick’s Day ending in this draft. I think, with that line, perhaps I was thinking about the actual holiday, and the drunken buffoonery surrounding it. At any rate, the St. Patrick’s Day image was so bad to me, that it shook the poem in a new direction, at least the ending of the poem. I knew something didn’t sound right in it’s language. It was at this point that I shifted and focused primarily on sound. I asked myself - How does this poem want to end? What is the music happening here? I ended up marrying the music and the ghost. And that was it. Though looking back on it, I really have no idea how I arrived at those choices - how I knew these were the images and sounds I wanted in this poem.