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throw away poetry

how can i say this?
what are the words i can use
to tell you, without your 
feelings being hurt?
people. there is a menu
just to the left.
near the bottom is a link
which will show you the things
good poetry should never have.
they're called cliche's.
though the list isn't final,
and will never be
because as times change,
so do we and our language,
poetry's a subtil thing. abstract.
to explain it is beyond my means.
But try this: let your mind
wander a bit.
don't lean so heavily
on your memorized wit.
i want to help you, i sincerely do
and i'm trying to think
while i write this to you
just what i should tell you,
what i need to say
that will help you see language
in a different way.
rhymes come about
3 lines at a time or so.
your brain should be thinking now
of 3 lines ago.
poetry is algebra
though i don't know the theorem.  
here's an idea.
put down the pen.
pick up your mouse. 
start clicking peoples names
til you see what poetry's about.
start with chris aechtner.
there you will see what the gift and the curse of writing poetry can be.
he writes uninhibited.
he doesn't mince words.
he sets an example from which we can learn.
you see, what creates most bad poetry is our fears and complexes 
distracting us.
so, try, when you write
to sort of meditate.
separate from the world outside and create your own rules.
i'm a lousy poet too.
don't feel bad, because i told you.

Copyright © josh kirkwood | Year Posted 2012


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  1. Date: 11/23/2012 6:47:00 PM

    love this cause this is exactly how I feel about my work.
  1. Date: 11/23/2012 11:42:00 AM

    I especially like the lines about meditating and creating your own rules! Peace & blessings Matthew Anish
  1. Date: 10/5/2012 3:28:00 PM

    Josh, I am a mere amateur. I am humbled if you enjoy my poetry. I churn-out weak poems just like the next person. We are all amateurs here on the Soup, but the difference that I have noticed, is wot you touched upon in your poem here -- change, experiment, work with the patterns, change the patterns, and have enough pride in your work not to post the first thing that enters your head....tackle, tinker, tweak. Instead of posting 10 weak poems, people should try putting more effort into 2 poems.
  1. Date: 10/5/2012 8:40:00 AM

    I tried chris a few times some time ago he has a great beginning, a great great middle, but rotten endings.