Self-Portrait with The Happiness
David talks to Good Gay Read about his nominated book.
My partner describes Self-Portrait with the Happiness as “that little book of sex you wrote” which I think is a pretty concise explanation of what the collection entails.
The book comprises Of around 40 poems, mostly of love poems, snapshots of various stages of relationships, which I wrote over a period of eight years. I’ve always found writing about love and sex to be something that comes naturally to me, more so than other subjects, and I was honoured to have the opportunity to publish the book through Smith/Doorstop.
I feel very humbled to be shortlisted for the Polari prize, which introduced me to the work of one of the previous winners, John McCullough, whose poems I admire greatly! It’s a prize I always follow and I look forward to reading all the longlisted works for this years prize.
I prefer poems to speak for themselves, so here is the final poem for the collection!
As for beauty: I think I’ve experienced
the moment in life that will flash
before me at the end. He was on top
and his eyes were shut, his mouth open
as if he were swimming: a child again,
his hair floating around him like seaweed.
Earlier that night we’d watched a movie
where the newly dead arrived in purgatory
to direct a short film of their happiest memory.
It was about coming to terms, and afterwards
we’d had a fight and made up and had another fight
as the credits rolled and we tore off our clothes
and love spooled before us. And we were cameras.