How to Write a Poem in 2021
by Carol A. Stephen
Ten a.m. Sit at your desk, assemble writing tools.
Start computer. Don’t write yet. First,
check fourteen emails and five unrelated subject links.
Time for coffee, tea if you prefer.
Sit at your desk. Play two computer games.
Make it three. Oh, just one more for luck.
Search computer for a prompt. Send an email
telling your friend how you have writer’s block.
Bathroom break. Sit at your desk.
Make a list of words to include in a poem.
Ten words. Strike out five. Add another ten.
Sit at your desk. Read through other poets’ poems
for inspiration. Gaze out the window, check the weather.
Write a line.
Aha! We’re getting somewhere! But— it’s now 5 p.m.
Spend 15 minutes writing. Sign your poem.
Done for today.
PAINTING: Writing by Zhang Xiaogang (2005).
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
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