Writing Day, with Poem

I'm going to post a poem that comes from a suite I'm working on called "How to Be a Writer." This poem originally started with the words "don't be," which tells you how ambivalent I continue to feel about this writing path. Despite ambivalence, I'm looking forward to going to "poetry club" tonight and talking verse, talking writing. It will be an all-around writing day, from bottom to top. Here's the poem ...


don't sit before the screen and tap tap tap
don't lick your pen and fill a blank
with scrap scrap scrap

don't whisper lines of verse
at the grocery store
don't narrate yourself at a quarter to four

don't half-light darkness
with old joy and ruin recast
don't lie don't leech don't bargain thieve and grasp

don't write, small soul
don't pretend or imagine
don't ache for a reader
don't prance for recognition

don't do it, you'll regret it
the black dog will eat you whole
don't do it, amputate, amnesiate, enfold

but you can't?
then it's fatal
but you can't?
then you shall

be a writer
be a writer

be it well

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