How To Write A Poem
First, clear the area of critics.
Next, grab an image or a supple
length of language and get going.
It’s all you now. Mumble, sing,
murmur, rage, rumble, mock,
quote, mimic, denounce, tell,
tease. Recall, refuse, regret,
reject. Dive, if you dare, into
psychic murk. Down there grab
the slick tail of something quick.
Hold it if you can. Meanwhile,
cry, or call, for all I care. I care.
Invent like the conning, conniving
poet you are, you lying spitter
of literature, you. Make it for
yourself and fit it to you. You
might as well. Readers, editors,
teachers, preachers, and publishers
aren’t your friends. Other poets
are busy with their own poems
and other problems. Famous poets
are off being remarkable geniuses,
eccentric visionaries, sunken wrecks,
dead, dead-drunk, or pains in the ass.
Say what you see, see what you say,
write it for love and for free. Own what
you write and give it away. Language
will always love you back, so lay
a wet kiss on the words, and when and if
in doubt, remember: what you want
to be is to be writing.
Copyright 2008 Hans Ostrom