As I read over the previous Happen post, I thought, really that easy? I had oversimplified the procedures to the point it seemed poetry didn’t need work.
Poems start with the line and second line, but sometimes the second comes in only halfway and I have to struggle up the rest. Think suspended intuition, where the next word sort of hangs there and needs a push. Since I can’t carry my MacBook with me, I keep a notebook for that first two lines and the rest there or on the computer.

Nothing about writing is easy, and poetry is the hardest of all.


I have three rules governing my practice.
I never pay to publish or for editing or any other kind of service. This is a moot point since I couldn’t pay, but I wouldn’t if I could. If this means my work won’t be recognized until found in whatever nursing home I end up in, so be it.
Nothing gets thrown out. Some poems fizzle out and some constructions fail, so rather than simply deleting the words and lines, I save them in a separate folder I call “scraps.” Far off, I will mix and match and write a long crazy poem made of lines from the scraps and whatever else I add.
And everything I consider finished (read “sounds finished”) gets submitted whether I particularly like it or not.

One thought on “HOW MY POEMS HAPPEN (Too)

  1. Thanks for those thoughts and comments Alan. I am in agreement with you as regards not paying to have a poem published and also keep my doodling’s, ideas, off cuts and scarps in my ideas file … I go back and troll through them and new ideas emerge. Like you I also post what’s finished on my site … no matter what it looks like once completed … Thanks and strength with your writing 🙂

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