LOOKS like I need to say this again.
Why should you write poetry?
No, it’s not to express yourself.
You can express yourself — go dance, go sing, go write a letter, but please do not use poetry to do it, especially if you do not know that the only reason to write poetry is to contribute a new idea, a new image (a new picture, a new language, a new phrase, a new understanding, a new situation), something that has never been done before, to the ever-growing body of poetry from its very beginning.
(That’s why it’s effing new, new, N-E-W!)
You cannot say, “The bird’s song is sad.” Or, “The cuckoo’s song is sad.”
You cannot say, “The falling rain is sad.” Or, “The rain, falling, is sad.”
But you can say, “The sound of boiling water is the saddest in all the world.”
You just have to show and prove it (by explaining it with fresh, beautiful images and words that have never been pieced together before.)
How do you know that what you are saying is new?
Well, because you are not illiterate. You have read a lot of poetry, and you know what’s already been said in the centuries-old poetry tradition since poetry began.
If you haven’t read that much poetry to know, don’t even try to write, and call what you do poetry.
If you’ve only read three or ten poets, for the love of God, do not even try to write poetry.
Write something else — a diary entry, a journal, a joke, an anecdote, a vignette, a slum book motto.
But do not call it poetry.
Oh, do not pretend that you are the very first person who has suffered the loss of love, or the only person who has discovered the extreme joys of sex.
All the topics of poetry you pick have probably been written about before.
Unless you can be original and dare to think, “Your kiss is a dab of lemony shit in my mouth”, don’t even dare write something about a kiss.
This isn’t sexy, this isn’t high poetry, but this is poetry: “The crimson lips of your wrinkled anus are the sweetest I’ve ever bitten. I will eat them again!”
I don’t know if there are any more new situations you can imagine and write about.
Making love on the rings of Saturn, maybe?
So, my advice: If you can’t write a new situation, write about old situations but use fresh connections, fresh images, fresh combinations of words.
You feel he is distant, call him “your seventh planet”. That can work.
She is your seventh girlfriend, seventh crush?—call her “your seventh planet”. That also works.
But do not try to be so arrogantly and ignorantly new if you do not understand the poetic tradition.
Certain words are poetic: “rain”, “clouds”, “shimmering”, “exploding”, “ferns”, “flowers”, “caress”, “touch”.
Often, these words carry with them certain traditions, certain baggage, so be careful with every word you choose.
As a rule, polysyllabic Greek or Latinate words are not poetic.
They are pompous, ostentatious, and pretentious.
“Pompous” can be poetic with its two-syllables; but “pretentious” and “ostentatious” are not poetic at all.
“Democracy” is not poetic.
Neither is “republic” nor “establishment”.
“Vagina” and “penis” are not poetic, usually.
But if you can use them beautifully, and in an exciting way never before attempted, maybe they can still be.
Try, “Her legs awaken me like the V in vagina”.
Try some more, “His legs awaken me like the V in vagina”.
Try harder, “Her vagina smiled to kiss me with a sweet-and-sour story”.
“Predestination” is not poetic.
“Destination” and “destined” are mildly poetic.
And I don’t know why, but “destiny” is pretty poetic.
“Osculate” is not poetic, but “kiss” is.
But I’ve seen “osculate” in some great poetry.
If you haven’t read it, don’t even try to use the word!
Do not try to recreate your life story in a poem if you have already seen it in the movies, or read it in a book.
You cried when he said goodbye.
Hello? Everybody does that.
Do not write it!
But if you smiled when she said goodbye, you could have been a little crazy.
But that’s crazy poetic!
Smelling his underwear after he left is getting old, but it still smells good!
What about smelling his socks?
Now, making tea from her menstruated panties—dude, that is very poetic!
I mean, I almost did it once! (firstname.lastname@example.org/PN)