Something to be Said Before Writing Poetry
Joyce Carol Oates says exercise first,
so try the treadmill to get a good burst.
Stephen King begins at eight.
Starting at noon is clearly too late.
A clean writing desk and a silent place
will certainly help to pick up the pace.
The advice of Ted Kooser should be heeded,
a favorite chair and strong coffee are needed.
A Blueline notebook and Uniball pen
help Billy Collins find his zen,
but maybe scrap paper and a Bic are best
to find the words and put the mind to the test.
Standing to think works well, said Hemingway;
or supine with wine, as Capote would say.
However it’s done today will go well.
Metaphors and images will start to gel.
Start in the middle or start at the end,
whatever flows first is what should be penned.
Say something that seems both clear and mysterious
but is also light-hearted and a little bit serious.
Nothing maudlin or too sentimental,
and think twice when being judgmental.
When the very last word has been written,
squeeze the poem until you’re smitten.
Then your efforts can finally cease;
what will be left is your masterpiece.
Published in Verse-Virtual, April 2018