How To Write A Poem, by Bhanu Kapil
1. Eat the raw heart of a horse. This will distinguish you from a cast of thousands.
2. Are you an urchin? If so, consider writing a novel instead.
3. Have carnal encounters with anyone but another poet. For obvious reasons, you do not want to set a plot line in motion. (See: 2.)
4. As Paul Thek said in 1972: “Redesign the human genitals so that they might be more equitable.” (See: 3.)
5. Select notebooks with great effort, using every ounce of your psychic intensity. I once casually purchased a soft cover moleskin. What a disaster! (I wrote on my knees. The notebook wouldn’t open flat.)
6. Bioluminesce. Write sentences in a darkened room. Lie on the floor and have other people gently rearrange your limbs. A poetry of hotel rooms, jungles and urban aquariums:
7. Reveal your soft side. Populate your work with rueful remarks, owl bones, ice flowers on the Big Thompson, the slow motion collapse of a girl to the ground, and so on. Keep doing this until you’re performing, almost by chance, a gruesome scene.
8. In the ivy. On the asphalt. Lie down forever, or just for a few minutes, in the place where your poem is set.
9. Attend a world conference of people working on the same things as you but from a different perspective. For example, in March, I attended the third congress of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry. There, in Mile End, I studied schizophrenia, the figure of the immigrant and the ways in which built environments affect the rates of affective and reactive psychosis in black and ethnic minority populations. To me, this was the deepest poetry.
10. Be alone as much as you can, like a mythical monster. Create hand-drawn mandalas of your subject matter, then annotate (with lightning bolts and a felt tip pen):
11. Drink coffee with other poets. While one of you rests their head on the table, the other one writes an entire book in one sitting. Alternate. Repeat. (Writing and dreaming like this.)
12. What is the role of commas in your work? People asked me this a lot when I first started writing poems.
13. Invent a form that allows fragments to have their own life. To recombine. Or perhaps to simply die off, emitting pink, luminous flares just beyond the range of a society’s vision. In this sense, all form is diasporic: a “territory without terrain.”
14. Bathe in goat’s milk, rosewater, and volcanic salt by candlelight, if for some reason you cannot write a thing.
6:20 am 895 notes
— "Sky," Matthew Dickman (via commovente)
6:13 am 718 notes
12:58 pm 83,039 notes
— "Dust," Dorianne Laux
8:48 am 959 notes
11:24 pm 231,354 notes
3:26 am 5,790 notes
Call it a kiss, but
I want to dip my fingers
into a dark wine
and paint your lips red
and let it drip down your neck.
I want to cup your wet chin
and raise the goblet
of your fine wine mouth to mine.
I want to drink from you
until we taste the same.
— Peregrine (via oofpoetry)
12:44 am 8,751 notes
7:20 pm 10,491 notes
I no longer need you to fuck me as hard
as I hate myself.
Make love to me
like you know I am better than the worst thing I ever did.
I’m new to this
but I have seen nearly every city from a rooftop without jumping.
I have realized
that the moon did not have to be full for us to love it.
We are not tragedies
stranded here beneath it.
— Buddy Wakefield, “We Were Emergencies” (via oofpoetry)
1:43 pm 6,637 notes
I wish I knew history enough to use it
as a metaphor, and it’s like the night
I had to say sorry because I couldn’t
really kiss you. Even now what I remember
is the feeling of old heartbreak settling
into new wounds as the night tapped
on my window.
Today I thought about leaving my apartment
but it rained. Then it stopped. Then it rained.
And I cried twice to two different songs.
It wasn’t about the songs anymore. Do you
get what I’m saying? Why I couldn’t leave?
I don’t think there’s anything outside
these walls. When I think about the rain,
I remember only the word rain.
I write two kinds of poems:
ones from within,
when I give myself to the world,
and ones from without,
when the world gives itself to me
as I merely watch.
Funny how when I remember only myself
it is the only thing I cannot feel.
But looking up at the sky, I feel it tip
cosmos spilling into a mouth
that has forgotten the word mouth.
Now I know that I want to be everything
so that your name
cannot break me.
3:47 am 53 notes