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.

One comment on “TEN RULES OF POETRY, #5

  1. Barb Duval says:

    She was one of a kind! I don’t remember the moccasins. I thought that she favored the boys over the girls. Bill thought so too. He was her pet.

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