Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Practice Safe Poetry," by Hans Ostrom

How well do you know
the words you're using in poems?
How many other poets have used them?
How many of those poets are infected?

Practice safe writing. Do you know
the proper way to put a condom
on your cursor--or someone else's?
How clean are your pens?

When reading poems in public,
consider wearing a helmet
and safety glasses.

Be aware of your surroundings.
Check for enforcers sent from
various Schools of Poetry. Never

get between an ambitious poet
and a prize or a high poetic office.

Get your poems tested!


hans ostrom 2014
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