How to write a poem in 12 simple steps

Picture of journal with empty pages

The Definitive Guide

Step 1.  Put on “Kind of blue” by Miles Davis
Step 2.  Enter a euphoric state induced by an irresponsibly excessive amount of grandiose hyperbole, bongos and Irish coffee.
Step 3.  Rant frantically a confused discharge of sensations, emotions, and disallusions until you reach the pinnacle of rhetorical zen.
Step 4.  Write the first draft while staring out a window catatonicly for at least 4 hours.
Step 5.  Let it rest knowing this is the greatest poem ever written since “Riot.”
Step 6.  The next day, re-read your masterpiece and realize it’s terrible. You will never be Gwendolyn Brooks, and everyone will think you are insane.
Step 7.  Alcohol!  Let the wave of unfulfilled vision wash over you as you contemplate a life as a Munk in Tibet, or lighthouse keeper.
Step 8.  Lighten up! The world does not need another Gwendolyn Brooks, she already did it perfectly. The world needs your voice.  And if it doesn’t ….. repeat step 7.  Oh and by the way everyone already knows you’re insane and your friends and family are OK with it…
Step 9.  Write second draft just in time for the open mic at the electric brew.
Step 10.  Still picking your poem apart… fall asleep attempting to read Ulysses.
Step 11.  Wakeup in the middle of the night and write two new lines before slipping back to that dream where Cloris Leachman is teaching you how to grow vegetarian bacon in an aquarium.
Step 12.  Write each line down on a note card so you can read/rewrite, read/rewrite, read/rewrite at least 150x until you are finally able to write the final draft.

And breath.

It is done.

Now
Wasn’t that simple

2 thoughts on “How to write a poem in 12 simple steps

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