if I write
by Mark Redford

if I write too much or
if I worry that I don’t

write at all, I have
become the insincerity

that I write to confound;
I should write when it

flows and sobs, I should
not write when stuck

in parse, no quota too
empty, no fate to fulfill

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The place where writing often happened through darśan; you can see me there, just below the middle line, in the process of being created in between the words I write and the words I read.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Redford has written since he was “sour 16” trying to find himself against the “phoniness” and “bad faith” he’d read about (Salinger & Sartre respectively); he continued writing at university to moisturise the crust of all that reading he had to do to find the honesty; he didn’t write so much while he suffered a career which begged the muse and time to do it; he re-started writing in earnest while he retired in awkward grace, sometimes hitting a lode but mostly labouring in style, and usually wondering whether he has been looking in the wrong place all along . . .