A POEM ABOUT WRITING BETTER POEMS
The next time you write about a man speaking
to an object, consider whether the object
should speak back. Particularly
if it is an animal.
Particularly if it is a red mongoose who
has just defeated two King cobras who learned how
to dovetail in the dark. Particularly if it is a woman:
try to portray me, she says, as if I were not
naked or in a painting or somehow filled
with red leaves.
You turn the page and continue to write, so
continue to write as if nothing has happened.
The sky overflows with intermingling clouds;
the apples in your kitchen begin to rot;
your cat’s food dish empties, and yet,
you do not care. You fill another page
as if it were only the world passing.
A painter says, try to include an object
that is otherwise out of place,
that is somehow…disembodied.
You write about a woman
without her clothes.
You write about an eye that washed up
somewhere in southern Florida, all blue.
From a swordfish, they say.
You write the disembodied object into her hands.
You can see the reflection
of her face in the surface,