I haven’t presented myself with a revision challenge in awhile. “On the Edge” was written in February 1985. I was 19. It’s from the notebook “Spring Breeze on Purple Iris” which I filled over the course of a month (mid-January to mid-February), a level of production I may not have matched since. The work that begins the book is not the work that ends it. There was a qualitative change. I wrote my writing better. I’m not going to say the work up to this notebook was bad and the work after it was good, but I didn’t expect to find within it any particular change – trying new things, sure, working in a productive vein, perhaps. I’ve been reading through my old poetry notebooks, wondering sometimes if it’s worth the bother. Even allow-for-its-time-and-place me can tire of reading bad poems.
I am posting “On the Edge” because I like it. I wouldn’t submit it for publication. I doubt I ever did, though I may have read it at an open mic. I have only the vaguest notions of what I could do with/to this poem. But that’s the challenge!