What You Learn as a Poet

What You Learn as a Poet

You can’t spell, for example, sumptious.
Section breaks and TOCs in MS-Word require an engineering degree.
It’s—its hard.
Your spouse will always be saying, What are you doing in there?
Children must be taught to use the microwave.
Doors must have locks.
Clean your pipes after each poem.
Your dog is the perfect writing companion—he can’t talk.
You must be happy for other writers, even if you’re not.
Everyone is smarter than you.
Award-winning poems have I can do that written all over them, even though you didn’t.
A kind word from another poet feels like something you want on your tomb.
A first book may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.
Everything else in the world seems more pressing than a poem—even the dirty grout in the kitchen.
If you want to write (thanks to Brenda Ueland), give up on the grout.
Brenda Euland is hard to spell.
Brenda Ueland should’ve taken more selfies when she was young.
There are no bad words.
Say what you don’t want to say or don’t think you should.
But wait for people to die, generally speaking.
A thesaurus is actually helpful.
Apple’s dictionary is the best thing, besides your children, that ever happened to you.
Wikipedia is the best thing, besides your spouse, that ever happened to you.
Unlike academic friends, you’re not obligated to dismiss Wikipedia.
Photo copyrights don’t apply to you.
Screen shots are helpful when they do apply to you.
You must have a secret Twitter identity to say what you really want to say.
Sometimes you’re thankful people don’t read poetry.
Prufrock should have been on Twitter—@mermaidman (thanks to SpongeBob).
The truth will set you free, unless it entangles you in arguments with your spouse and siblings.
Facebook is a good place to meet writers.
You are what you AVI, but not really.
Coffee and nicotine.
Take your medications.
If you’re not taking medications, go to a psychiatrist, because you need them.
100% chance you have some form of mental illness.
All those bad things that happened to you still make you sad, but you’re partly thankful for them now.
This is due to writing, poetry, and therapy, which you’re thankful for also.
You can’t own enough books.
You finally admit you’ll never read some books. But their spines are still your friends.
Posting on Facebook is easier than writing a poem. And more rewarding for about an hour.
People don’t follow links to poetry.
You must lose weight and start running someday.
People who run are doing it just to make you feel bad.
People don’t read long Facebook posts, so no one will ever read this line, or the next.
If you’ve read this far, you’ve had your identity stolen.
If your identity has been stolen, it’s probably been returned, because you’re a poet and have no money.
You know a lot about dealing with creditors.
You wish you didn’t.
You secretly declared bankruptcy once, and it was the best thing that ever happened to you besides Apple’s Dictionary and Wikipedia.
Some singles in your area are looking for a good time—stay away from them.
If you don’t stay away from them, let me know how that turns out.
Sometimes can’t keep your pipe lit is literal. Other times, it requires medication.
You secretly hate a couple of poets because of their dismissive nature.
You’re secretly in love with several poets because they’re just beautiful people.
Writing about your childhood made you so sad you had to take antidepressants.
Zoloft, Xanax, and Neurontin are good Scrabble words.
You still play Candy Crush, but don’t tell anyone.
You can’t know enough.
You watch documentaries, on just about anything.
Netflix and Amazon Prime are the best things that ever happened to you besides Apple’s Dictionary, Wikipedia, your children, and your spouse.
You once stole cable.
You’ve forgotten about those things in college that occasionally still trouble you.
You attempt your own house repairs. You garden.
You hoard.
You collect.
You still think of hoarding as collecting.
One is the beginning of a collection.
There is no such thing as an unshiny object.
You’re late. Everywhere.
That makes you super early for the next thing.
You forget things. You lose things. You lock yourself out of the house.
You once climbed in your children’s second-story bedroom window while they were sleeping.
You have addictions.
You must stop eating peanut butter out of the jar late at night.
You’re a good teacher, but quirky.
You like to quirk.
You’re struggling with opinions about Miley Cyrus now that she’s done some good.
You like Taylor Swift—everyone does.
You know the first book you ever bought with your own money.
You go to thrift stores. For the books.
You have strong political opinions.
You are right.
You feel the pain of The Dead and the Living (thanks to Sharon Olds).
You cry sometimes for people in the news.
You like Gregory Pardlo—how can you not?
You’re still trying to get on Carolyn Forché’s Facebook friend list (she’s maxed out).
So is Mark Doty.
Grad school was fun.
You’re late for something right now. You have to go.
Poetry is the best thing that ever happened to you, besides Apple’s Dictionary….


4 thoughts on “What You Learn as a Poet

  1. This the best ever. I hear the bell ringing
    with each point made.
    I have never felt more like a writer than now,
    after reading this piece that gives credence
    to the last lines of Ode on a Grecian Urn.

    So very much enjoyed!

    Liked by 2 people

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