Last night, after four pints, I chose to perform the poem Gums for reasons that I cannot explain (other than the surfeit of beer). I had a moment – about a third of the way through it – where I realised that it made no sense at all. Publicly reciting poetry may not be the best way to test poems, but it is a way, of sorts.
I habitually under-explain in poems, in the hope they resonate without being patronising, but I realise that with this one I went too far. It needs an extra line, right at the start, simply “When I think of my mother….”
It may not be a poem you would expect about someone’s imagination of and/or relationship with their mother, but it is what it is. I have amended the original post (and poem).
I did get some applause for it, even in its bizarre state; I suppose it did at least have the merit of being unlike the things you normally get at such events….