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How to Become a Poet MAG
Begin at the age of thirteen.
Write mellow dramatic and dreary
Show your friends your poetry. They'll ask how you got to be so deep.
Show your parents your poetry. They'll ask if you're okay.
Start handling your emotions in an “adult manner.”
Stumble into a poetry class in college.
Pull out your old poems,
toss them away.
Begin writing new ideas.
Carefully count the syllables in your sonnets.
Submit to contests, magazines, journals.
Drive a nail into a wall in your bedroom.
Slap the numerous rejection slips on it.
Look out your window.
It will be a dreary, rainy day.
Pout, moan, sigh.
Smirk at the irony.
Decide to change everything you are.
Attempt another adaptation of alliteration.
Write similes like an e.e. cummings' prodigy.
Metaphors are your crutches.
Personification breathes life into your words.
Let zeugma open your journal and your mind.
Recognize that this is all cliché and as common as dirt.
Take up drinking.
Toss down a few more shots at 30 and begin again.
Write vague verse.
Show it to a friend.
He'll say poetry's bullsh**.
Call him an uneducated fool.
Toss out phrases like freedom, expression, and art.
Bolt out of the room in a rage
then stare up at your white ceiling at night
wondering about life.
Take pills for insomnia.
Finally, get published in your forties.
See your name in prestigious literary collections.
Craft yourself an ego.
Parade yourself at seminars and events.
Submit sh***y work and watch the critics fawn.
Dramatically read your work at festivals.
Someone will approach you, confused about its meaning.
Sneer and throw around words like metonymy, chiasmus, and anadiplosis.
Think of your friend.
Have an affair.
Get a divorce.
Go to rehab.
Write poetry for your own cathartic purpose.
Let every drop of ink symbolize a tear running down your cracked, wrinkled face.
Begin to play with guns and ropes and pain pills.
Keep your new poems on loose-leaf paper, sporadically tossed around the room.
Weep and shake as you look at it.
O Captain! my Captain!
Write a biography, a memoir, a suicide note.
Whose woods these are I think I know
Notice the jagged rocks below your third story window.
Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Before you jump, write a sh***y poem about what you've learned.
Title it: How to Become