by Carl Griffin
When I first invited poets to send me their fragments or poems so that I could stitch them together into one cohesive poem (which became Arrival at Elsewhere), I had a few ideas in mind of the kind of poetry I wanted to see, and the topics I wanted to avoid. However, I left the initial invitation as open as possible. I didn’t want to limit my options. The brief was simply to send work that had been written during the time of the coronavirus, even if the work was not necessarily about the virus. Sometimes we write our best poetry on a subject when focusing on a different subject altogether.
But after a couple of months of receiving work and starting on the long poem, I had noticed a few lines and topics and approaches cropping up again and again. In an update to the poets involved, in case they hadn’t yet sent their poetry in, or were planning to send more, I decided to put together a bit of a list of things I needed and things I definitely did not need. As editors are prone to (if I can get away with calling myself an editor), I rambled on for quite some time. One of the poets kindly decided to turn my ramblings into a found poem. I have kindly turned his found poem into something I feel encapsulates even more what I was looking for, upon deciding on the path I would take with the poem. This short-shelf poem, found by Peter Sirr, and then found again by myself, hopefully gives a good insight into my thought process while putting the Arrival at Elsewhere poem together, although, as the last stanza might suggest, I did break my own rules just subtly enough.