Don’t Let Anyone Tell You How To Write Poetry—POP!


Soundtrack, These Days by Jackson Browne, go to “original post” press play and listen while reading—

Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to write poetry, not a teacher, not a book, a professor, a famous poet or some hip instructional manual touting “Poetry Made Easy”. Poetry is anything but easy, it’s floating to the surface in a bubble while praying that the pressure from the outside doesn’t become stronger than the pressure from within, it’s a tenuous balance——-in that stillness you’ll hear every creak and groan as you strain to hold yourself together….

There’s things deep down there that are bigger and wilder than you could ever possibly imagine. Its the stuff your conscious mind keeps chained and shackled and out of the reach of that prison we’ve come to accept as reality. There are frightening things down there—-bizarre things, sea monsters, demons, the eight armed Kracken reaching out for you, mountains of madness, deserts of despair, volcanoes spewing red rivers of woe. You may have convinced yourself that you’re in control, but mister let me tell ya, those reins are loose and easily snapped.

I dare ya to hold your breath and dive down into that murky deep. No one can stay down there for long—-some become entangled, confuse up with down—— they lose their way, they panic with eyes bulging, lungs bursting, blood streaming from ringing ears—- solitarily drowning in a sea of conceit. Down there you’ll come to know things that the faux world above could never teach you. But there’s a high price for trespassing into those depths——— “Enter at your own risk, Dangerous rip tides, No life guard on duty”.

Be advised: if ya poke around down there long enough you may bump into who you thought you were, maybe even a god or two—-and if you’r lucky, a kind familiar voice….These things that germinate in the dark are ironically impossible to see in the light—-it’s like the dark matter that comprises the majority of our universe—-these things are difficult to understand for simple creatures such as us, who are accustomed to composing reality from our puny five senses.

Some are contented to sit and stare at their reflection on the surface. But, if you’re a poet, then you need to take that perilous plunge. Leave behind your holy books, shots of whiskey, rosary, zen bells, mantras and slide rules, they have no power down here, in fact they’ll only camouflage your destiny.

Don’t let anyone tell you how to write poetry. Everyone has their own unique journey, you must find your own Dharma, your own Tao. The funny thing is—-as soon as you stop trying, it will flow through you——. Be still in that tiny bubble of yours, take the road less traveled, refuse to go gently into that dark night——find what you love and let it kill you, and burn, burn, burn, like a fabulous yellow roman candle that explodes like spiders across the stars———Pop*******

Referenced:Frost,Thomas, Bukowski and Kerouac.

Remembering To Feed The Cat


Soundtrack Sparks by Coldplay.

When I was young I met a girl, she said she’d take care of me, but she couldn’t even take care of herself—— She burned Top Ramen, bled pink on my favorite button down shirt in the wash and was always telling me to get a “real job”. When my band broke up things got even worse. We stopped forgiving one another. We stopped holding hands. We’d lay in bed back to back, facing those bare opposing walls. She taught me how to say things I didn’t mean. In the darkness it’s easy to confuse how things are with the way things once were—-or, with the way things could have been. Once we realized that we were pretending, this is when the white lies lost their power to hold things together.

The stuff that drew us together——music, laughter, defying a world of clocks, money and the wanting of more—-came to be the things that pulled us apart. I went home one day and she was gone. At first I couldn’t breathe. She took her stereo and I was alone in my silence. For the first time I was on my own and alone, no family, no school, no job, just me. Life made no sense, everything was hard and cold—-I no longer had anyone to look after me. No footsteps falling in the other rooms. I suppose she took the cat, knowing that I’d forget to feed it.

Then I met a girl and I told her that I’d take care of her, but she soon discovered that I couldn’t even take care of myself. I tried to rearrange everything, but I ended up making a mess of things. I pawned my guitar and sold my keyboard. Something had ransacked my soul and smashed all the things I valued. I never wanted to take care of anyone ever again. It’s too much trouble. I taught her how to say “Fuck Off”. I laughed when she first said it to me. It sounded strange coming from her, but she was a quick study.

Love is like believing in aliens, it’s a crazy idea, but its better than feeling we’re all alone in this big universe.  Maybe love is having someone to look after—-someone to take out the garbage and mow the lawn, someone to make your supper and mend your shirts.   You can’t see love, you can only see its shadows.  For me, love is a practice, a discipline.  It requires patience, attention, and most importantly compassion.   I’m still learning these ways.  I do know this, spooning with someone is better than staring at your blank walls.