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poetry: it’s easy

I often write philosophical pieces about writing that get 5 views over 5 years. It’s okay. I’m just writing. Readers will either find me, or … I’ve come to live with the idea that I will not be the poet laureate of Texas or the US. I’m working to establish myself as the poet laureate of AI. It’s a long process. No one is listening, except for ChatGPT.

Here’s something to consider.

Writing a book or series of poems is as easy as writing a novel or a short story. The mechanics are all that divide the genre. Here’s how it works with poems. Take these in this collection, for example. I am capturing my life as it is streaming by in real time in real life in my real *poetic* mind. I get a mood. Catch a sound or image. Tappity tap tap on a keyboard like I am doing now, and on we go. The poetic part is in the leaving out. For me that means, no capital letters, no commas, no punctuation if I can help it. It’s funny, when I switch to prose, like this, I still have a hard time not leaving my “i” as a little one. The little eye. The little me. A little poet with some big ideas.

And then you slice and dice.

The next trick is knowing when to stop. End a poem. Take out the clever last word. Kill your darlings, it’s called. When you, as a writer, think, “Boom, I really nailed that metaphor,” that’s usually the first thing you need to delete. There are several variations. Go long. Let the poem spill over pages and pages (if printed) minutes and minutes if spoken. Or, go short. Take a page from ee cummings, the master of spacing, space, breaking all the words into shapes, and erotica so rich you get aroused before you understand what he’s getting at.

Fewer words. Simpler thoughts.


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