10 RULES FOR POETRY, #5
Don’t forget that poems come at you sideways.
The ones in the night generally make no sense
even if you remember to write them down.
The ones you work on for days, months,
will take on smells and textures
you did not intend at all.
If you are lucky, your friends
will point this out so you can rejoice,
or despair. Using a simple prompt, often
you will find that oddness slides in acutely.
Try to write about “Rules for Poetry”
and you may find yourself thinking
about your geometry teacher who wore
moccasins and glasses with rhinestone corners
and tied silk scarves around her waist.
She lived with her aged mother.
During Christmas vacation she went to Egypt
and rode a camel around the pyramids.
Sometimes she wrote obscure quotations
on the blackboard in colored chalk:
Size does not matter, or the cow would catch the rabbit.
If you can’t draw a tiger, draw a dog.