It's An Art Form

Whether words wither without woe 

Or combust with the power of a thousand suns depends on 

How heavy-handed her 

Alliteration is.


Or perhaps it’s a caesura thing.


Maybe it’s a metaphor that brings the poem to life

Or well-placed zoomorphism.


But whatever it is that makes poetry sway between 

painful and magical and mystical and

terribly, horribly, unmistakably real


Well, that’s an unknown quantity.


It’s an art form, poetry.

The technicalities— those are the bits and bobs we writers get so hung up on,

Trying to count syllables and suppress our constant consonance

So as to avoid accidental sibilance. 





It’s not that easy. 

But even with all of the metaphorical screws tightened, this machine won’t run without


And beliefs. 

And feeling, and heart, and soul, and anything else you can throw on it

Because dammit, it’s going to need everything you got if it’s gonna turn out good.


You can’t forget to check your grammar. 


Just when you’ve put together this heart-warming poem about—

Who knows what—

You’ve finally got everything working so nicely together.

Every word is in its place.

But you’ve got grammatical mistakes.

Now your rhyme is out the window, your pentameter is fucked

And you’re not sure you can swear, now that you think about it.

Ah! God damn it!

Oh no.


Okay, keep the swear words. It’s an unavoidable occupational hazard. 

That’s what you’ll tell them, later.

If they ask. 

Which they probably won’t.


And here you’ve forgotten your technicalities again— oh, Christ. 


It’s an art form, poetry. 

And no one’s really mastered the craft.

So here we all are, writing our words, making our adjustments,

Trying to piece together the most epic combination of words to have ever been…


Forget it.


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