Be a Better Poet
1. Stop talking and listen. Listen to yourself listening. Then listen to that.
2. Pile all your hats in the back yard and burn them. Especially any with feathers.
3. Remove your name from everything you do. Anonymity purifies. Fame corrodes.
4. Drive out your own sound by inviting in others.
5. Stop breaking sentences into lines. Instead, breathe. The breaks find themselves.
6. Stop talking with other poets. One god per universe is the legal limit.
7. Stop reading poems. Read hands, read faces, read hearts.
8. Unless it feels like a gift, don't give it.
9. Leave poems in unexpected places. In umbrella stands, in robins' nests, on piles of buffalo manure.
10. Stop being a poet at all. Throw away the sash. Because it isn't about your being. It's about being, period.
11. Stop writing them down. Leave them unfolded on the doorsteps of the fearful - the only copies in the world.
(2006, for the good folks at Poemhunter.com)
Mike Finley's Other Poems
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