Mark Fraser: Day Two Hundred and Ten – A Look Behind the Curtain

Posted on July 29, 2011 by


Ok, so I’ve been writing a lot lately. Some poetry alongside some reviews for a new project that I’m involved in, the details of which will revealed very soon.

I did think about posting another poem by someone else but I’ve done that a bit too often of late. Instead, I think I’m going to post something that’s “nearly” there, and offer some views on why I don’t think it’ll ever work.


These pages have aged with grace
like the lines on a Hollywood face
except these pages haven’t had work done,
they’re complete. Word perfect.

This particular volume has been around since the 50s
back in the time when its author was still getting gigs.
It’s no first edition, granted, and its hardback cover
is rough around the edges;
so dog eared that the cardboard can be seen,
yet still cutting a fine figure.

It is spineless, with no birth marks,
thus never revealing it’s true intention.
For all intents and purposes it is titleless
and authorless upon the furtive glance
but its bronzed pages have aged well
despite numerous cosmetic scars.

Instead of striking a forlorn figure,
it stands as a testament to the bookworm’s
vim and vigour,
adding an extra layer of character
meaning and history,
on top of that which is hidden inside.

Any bookcase would be proud to have it.
It may be falling apart, it may have tape holding it together
however the tome has a story all of its own,
and that’s before you creek open
the weary olden pages.

This poem has had multiple drafts yet remains in this state. The idea here is to create something which not only speaks to us about the novel and the age of it, but about age too. In places it’s a little heavy handed, however I just don’t feel the concept works overall.

I also feel that, stylistically, it’s pretty bland. I’m not sure how much polishing I can do it before becomes a fine piece of work, and perhaps a complete rewrite is on the cards.

Nothing everything a writer does is going to be great. In fact, a lot of the time a great deal of work can go into something and it’ll never improve, or the author will never be confident with it, or even like it. I think it’s important to acknowledge where your ideas come from, the shortcomings of your ability and/or a piece of work, and take stock of the past in order to improve as a writer.

Obviously it goes without saying that you should read a lot too.

I’m going to continue working on this, I think. Thought I’d just share a little of the thinking behind my writing in the hope that someone will find it interesting.

Posted in: Mark Fraser