How to write a poem

wipe the ink off the edge of your nib,
tilt your head backwards
to stop
your tears from falling
onto the page.
you write to blur out the world.
you write to keep your tears
from blurring out the world.
but don’t let them blur out your words
you are more than this
fleeting image,
poised in the pocket of time
between focusing and clicking,
that the poem you’re writing
will capture.

don’t use those notebooks
with paper-thin covers
to sketch out stories,
you constrict your words
between those ruled pages-
parallel lines never meet
but poetry seeks
to allow us to converge at a point.
so write on loose sheets
falling out from notebooks
you tore too many pages out of,
and if your poem is too honest,
you can let her fly away-
don’t shred apart your truth
to create confetti to distract
the greedy hands and scavenging eyes.

how do you write a poem?
i never really knew.
they tell you to just be honest.
i am still afraid to.
how do you write a poem?
by letting moments turn into words
and words turn into moments.
by letting the dots over your ‘i’s
turn into dashes of regret
that spike your words with bitterness
like lime infusing water.

you write by beginning
without knowing how,
because that question has no right answer
or too many to ever find-
because writing poetry is not a process,
it is a discovery.

when you asked me how to write a poem,
i didn’t have an answer.
i’ve written it into a poem now
and i guess that that’s an answer in itself.



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