A Poem About Writing Better Poems

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,

looking off.

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About mckenzielynntozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in Indiana, where she works as a virtual assistant, editor, and freelance writer via her self-started business, MLT Creative. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University, where she worked as the Layout and Design Editor for New Issues Poetry and Prose and as an Assistant Poetry Editor for Third Coast. She previously completed her B.S. in Secondary English Education and B.A. in English, with a Concentration in Writing, at Indiana University South Bend, where she worked as the Managing Editor for 42 Miles Press. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Encore Magazine, Thank You for Swallowing, The Spooklet, Sleet Magazine, and Analecta, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared on The Rumpus and Motherly. When not writing, she enjoys art and music, and the simple mathematics of being a wife of one, a mama of two, and a cat-mom of three. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com. View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

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