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 of confusion induced by an irresponsibly excessive amount of grandiose hyperbole, Irish coffee and bongos.
Step 3.  Frantically soliloquise a phonetic discharge of sensations, emotions, compulsive obsessions, delusions, allusions, disillusions, open letters and names for your future cats.
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.  Buy chocolate! Chocolate understands. Let the wave of unfulfilled vision wash over you as you contemplate a life as a Munk in Tibet.
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 ….. fuckem.   And by the way everyone already knows you’re insane and your friends 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 write a third draft and fall asleep listening to T.S. Eliot read “The Waste Land.”
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 about 20x each until you are finally able to write the final draft.

And breath. It is done.
Wasn’t that simple

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

  1. Pingback: How to write a poem in 12 simple steps — Apples and Pears Press | The Scrawlyst

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