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I Don’t Write My Poems

by Mark Peterson

If I ‘try’ to write poetry, in all honesty, I can’t keep up with Junior High schoolers. Rather, I lie down and meditate.

First I relax every muscle in my body, starting with my toes and ending at my scalp. I find that I store most of my tension in my face.

Next, I clear my mind and express a desire to the universe, void, cosmic muffin or whatever, to sense poetry. I might ask for a single idea, yet I don’t really ask. It’s more an expression of the belief that words will come. I wait until they do.

It’s as if there’s a realm in which all knowledge exists simultaneously—a place where my poetry is already written.

When complete, and it does take effort, I realize that my poem has written itself.  

Then maybe the most important thing I ever learned: I go back and remove practically every instance of the word ‘the.’ ‘A’ and ‘an’ are not far behind. In fact, test each line to see which words are absolutely needed and delete the rest.

I must also admit that I occasionally cheat with ‘Rhymezone.’

Polish then and do it until the following statement feels right. I don’t remember where I found it:

“With my own work, it’s art when it looks as if I know what I’m doing and when doing it makes me feel good.”

Try this leap of faith. I’ll see you in the Superconscious.