I think I have a new manuscript of poems that I am provisionally calling "In-flight entertainment." But I've worked on it so much that I need not to think about it for a while and then go back and see if it still holds up, both the individual poems and the overall shape of the collection.

So in the meantime I am going back through old poems, the ones that were half-finished and left aside, ones I thought were finished but which I now see weren't, but which feel worth working more on--which, increasingly, means whittling them down to something barer and maybe rougher. Other activities--like looking at Duchamp, like moving to another part of the world, with the shocks, like translating or writing an article--help to see things differently. 

Can't always trust my judgement, however. A couple weeks ago I took a poem I'd pulled out of my own slush pile, and which surprised me by its rightness to a poetry group meeting over in Berkeley. Only my friends there weren't impressed by most of it--I'd been so sure it was a keeper, but there you go. I put most of it back in the slush pile. They are people whose judgement I respect.