Writers are pretentious and
every time one tells me that my
writing is too subtle / not simple /
overrated / uninsightful— I want
to rip their pens right from their
clean hands and show them the
ink that I’ve spent my nights
You are allowed to rhyme,
you’re allowed to paint inconsistencies
across your ideas and stanzas. Do not
let college boys or day-time girls
tell you your poetry doesn’t make
any sense. If one tells you this,
spill facts about stoichiometry over
your free-verse. They’re only
concerned with chemistry during
blind dates with atheists.
If it matters
to you, write about it. Cliches are what
makes your poetry stale— but when
artists are starving, you must eat
as much spoiled bread as you can.
This morning my daughter, who is nearly four, saw the stretch marks on my hips and stomach. She ran her hands over them and asked what they were.
“I got them when I grew up,” I said, “and a few more when I had you.” I grinned down at her. “They’re my stripes. You’ll get stripes too when you grow up.”
She was overjoyed. “Really?”
I think she’s in her room now, pretending to be a tiger.
This is what we need to teach.