The most important thing for poets to do is to write as little as possible.
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)
Some days try as I might I find nothing to write
no poems or anecdotes, advice, wisdom or witticisms
all dried up for now, probably for the best
It’s not poetry because he says it’s poetry
don’t be so fucking stupid
all he’s done
is put line breaks in
Inspired by James Laughlin’s Pentastichs
and Felix Feneon’s Novels in Three Lines
he decided everything
can be boiled down
to 30 words or less
“How nice” they say
flipping through my book of poems
before picking up
their iPhones again.
“That’s great” they add.
Ten years of college notes, 20 years of journal entries,
novels, short stories, essays, letters, thousands of poems
and now I don’t know what to do with it all
We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Trying out for the romantic lead
opposite my girl losing
to handsome hunky Everett
then watching him romancing her on-stage
from backstage for weeks
One night he walked
four miles to her house
hid in the bushes hoping for a glimpse
of her up in her bedroom window
Returning to school 2 weeks too early
after my spinal fusion surgery so the other guys knew
she wasn’t fair game because I was still around
She returned my ring so she could date other guys
in college. I should’ve let her off the hook
but couldn’t stand the thought of living without her.
After dropping her at her school
I’d return to mine
walk alone along cold dark streets
unsure if I’d ever see her again
Would’ve sold my soul to the Devil
for her, although today she says
I never had anything
to worry about
she’s always been my girl
Michael Estabrook small press poet since the 1980s striving always for greater clarity and concision rendering language more succinct and precise more accessible and appealing a Sisyphean adventure for sure. Retired now writing more and working more outside just noticed two Cooper’s hawks staked out in the yard or rather above it which explains the nerve-wracked chipmunks. The Poet’s Curse, A Miscellany is a recent collection (The Poetry Box, 2019).