Daily Archives: April 22, 2015

Advice: On Maintaining A Daily Writing Practice

Originally posted 4/17/2012.

your favorite writers

always tell you 
to write
to keep writing 

your favorite writers

are going to tell you to write all the time

because they claim they did and you

(following along in their wake

like sweet little sleep deprived interns

in the Hospital Of Broken Hearts)

ought to damn well do the same

 

your favorite writers

are going to tell you to write every day

tell you to churn thirty poems in thirty days

or a novel in a month

because that’s how it works

when the Fire is on them

 

that’s how they get to be favorite writers

the poor slobs

that’s how they get to be famous

one month of crazy at a time

maybe for a few months at a time

and voila

the New Hotness doth arrive

 

your favorite writers will tell you

all sorts of things

to disguise the fact that they don’t have a clue

as to how this works 

 

they agitate for cause and effect

because not to is to suggest

a case for werewolves vampires

ghosts and zombies

not as literary devices and archetypes

but as the horrid afterbirth 
of their own failed work

 

listen:

if your gut tells you the best thing for your writing

is to take a month off
square your taxes

screw your neighbor hugely for hours at a time

walk your mother in the park

watch a lot of television

and drink

 you owe it to yourself to try that

because when I look at my favorite writers

I see more of that 
than the cold and sober work they prescribe

for all the whippersnappers and upstarts

 

formulas are for chemists and physicists

writers suck at those things mostly

write when you want

how you want

where you want

 

and for God’s sake
take a shower
eat a sandwich 
and try to get some sleep

 

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Falling Off A Chair

I was born
sitting at a table
I knew was not
my true place.

I learned to speak, then to
speak poems,
and the first time

I made a promise
to use all that
on behalf of One True Voice
I felt myself ascending
to the moment of balance

when you tip a chair back 
on two legs and it doesn’t quite
fall but you’re hanging there
waiting.  The first time 
I was able to deliver 
upon such a promise,
I felt myself falling

and though I knew
the end would cause pain

and blood would be shed
it was alright
because I also knew
it would not kill me
and after that 
I would never
have to sit at that table again.


Machismo

Whenever that type of wrong
can happen, it seems to happen.
Bombs or words or bodily
weaponry, whatever’s at hand

gets used when molecular,
falsified, ingrained pride
surges up and kills
any care within. Then

blooms a corpse-floral
fever, more often than 
occasionally, more obviously
than rarely, more normal

than exotic. It stinks
a cancered manhood song. It stinks
a dangled sadness and falling rage
that too often is used and then given

a pass to unpunished commonplace.
To draw it down is a job
and a calling.  To draw it down
is to slice it free of its tethered feeds

and let it sink wildly, flailing its power
at first, then slipping into something 
more feeble, then becoming still.
It is unknown yet what comes after that.


After Fire, Flood, And Love

Originally posted 3/10/2012.

After
fire there’s ash. Warmth
underneath, pale wisp-paper
above, easily dispersed, easily blown around.

After
flood comes muck.  Damp
goes all the way through.
Deep and sucking, holds fast.

After
love — what?   
What should we call that hot bog
that draws us down and won’t let us go?

After
love — let’s not call it.
Let’s not even name it.  Let’s say:
first fire and flood, then ash and mud;

then, after love, nothing.
Nothing comes after love.