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Good Poets

The poet is a procrastinator.

He goes out of his way to find other things to put his mind to.

The poet knows everything else he does isn’t pursuant to his ultimate goal,

which isn’t really his anyway.

It’s just something he’s found himself stuck to,

like a freak second head you’re forced to converse with

and for which you then become too attached to destroy. The poet makes every effort to deceive himself,

anything to convince his ego that it’s okay to think about something else now and again,

as long as his id inevitably returns to what it’s after,

that tranquil state of disappearing,

the serenity in removal from oneself,

the fear and excitement of letting yourself get lost in it.

That’s what the poet runs from,

from himself, from his anxieties, from his undying self-consciousness,

like letting a splinter grow into you,

like pouring yourself into anything except writing.

The poet longs. Nothing else he does gives him that feeling,

though he tries and tries.

It’s an impossible way,

but it’s the only way he’ll ever be.

The poet likes complaining.

He’s apt at self-remorse. It’s easiest to get along psychologically

when everything else is the problem.

When you run things over countless times in your head

and you’re still what’s getting in your way,

the system is obviously broken. (Either that or you’re an asshole.) Good poets truly believe that they’re the ones sent here to fix it.

Great poets never seem to get around

to putting any such solution down on paper,

which is why the best poets aren’t

really poets at all.

The real poet is a handyman,

who finishes what he sets out to

or sub-contracts what he can’t

(or who at least has the gall

to admit when it’s time to concede). No, the poet doesn’t have a checklist.

He doesn’t know what he’s been called here to do. He may be a liar. And a fake.

But that isn’t going to stop him. This is how the poet lets his thoughts go.

This is the jar. Good poets find something they can unreservedly pour themselves into.

Great poets never stop. Get along with it then.

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