Nefertiti in the Flak Tower
In 2010, when I fell ill, I had no means of knowing that there would ever be a volume of my recent verse called Nefertiti in the Flak Tower, or called anything. All I had was a handful of poems. But I found myself writing more of them even when I was in hospital. “Vertical Envelopment” was written while I was having my life saved in Addenbrooke’s hospital, Cambridge, UK; and “Whitman and the Moth” was written while I was having my life saved all over again in Mount Sinai hospital, New York. Eventually, in 2012, it was time for a volume, and I picked Nefertiti for the title because I have always liked the idea of her imperturbable gaze quivering only slightly as the guns of her latest tomb all went off at once. As a symbol of unshakeable purpose it seemed too good to miss.