I would differ with JC here a bit. While writing sonnets and villanelles is no longer necessary, (yes, rhyme will never come back, it just sounds too lilting and unnatural to the modern ear) learning to write a tighter, more cadenced form of free verse will give your work a certain polish and set it apart, in a good way, from what is the standard American poem today. The Bukowski/Brautigan/Giovanni type of poem has been exhausted (i.e. poems that seem like dashed-off emails) despite still being written. Poets are returning to rhythm and a SENSE of meter, as in the work of Campbell MacGrath and Claudia Emerson. Emerson does write sonnets often; doing something fresh with them is not 'anachronistic' but shows skill. There's nothing wrong with looking skillful. The one thing that JC and I do agree on completely is originality; you MUST learn to appreciate and write fresh poetry. Cliches, unless used in an ironic way, won't work, not if you're interested in actually publishing. The best poets to read and absorb to break up the cliche habit: Ashbery, O'Hara, Merrill, Jorie Graham, Charles Tomlinson, Keith Waldron, Mary Jo Bang: poets who put their focus chiefly on evocative language and imagery. But in the end, I suppose a poet has to write the poetry that pleases him the most, that fulfills him creatively, whether that poetry is competent, or utter doggerel. The advice that JC and I impart is really for serious poets, writers who want to publish and, perhaps, be noticed critically.
Addicted was actually written in 1998. I put it up to get a discussion going as well as criticism helpful to others and to me as well. It's a bit disconcerting not to be able to interact in 'real' time. What's with the monitoring lag?