Don’t do what all the other little buggers are doing.
Don’t try to make the poem look pretty. You’re not decorating cupcakes, Cupcake.
Don’t think you’re the only bastard who ever suffered — just write as if you were.
Don’t eat someone else’s lunch. For eat read steal. For lunch read wife. For wife read style.
Don’t be any form’s bitch.
Don’t think if you cheat on form or slip the meter, no one will notice. They’ll know and think you a fool. Don’t think it impossible to cheat on form. If you do it well, they’ll think you a genius.
Don’t think if you declare yourself avant-garde, your sins will be forgiven.
Don’t blubber if you never receive prizes. Look at the poets who won the Pulitzer fifty years ago. See who’s there. See who’s not.
Don’t think you’re special. Stand in a library amid all those poets who thought they were every inch the genius you think you are.
Don’t double-space your lines and think the poem better. It just takes up more room.
Don’t think regret is 20/20. Regret is myopic. Hope is astigmatic. Trust is blind.
Don’t think what you have to say is important. The way you say it is what’s important. What you have to say is rubbish.
Don’t think you don’t have to read. You read in order to steal. Read more, steal better.
Don’t think your poems are good because they sound good read aloud. Get your hearing checked.
Never write poems about poetry.
Don’t play to the audience. Your audience is full of dopes, cheeseballs, and Johnny-come-latelies — besides, they’re laughing at you all the way home.
Don’t think you’ve been anointed by early success. Look at the critical darlings of a hundred years ago. Look at the darlings of twenty years ago.
Never wish you were there. Wish you were here.
Don’t think you can ignore grammar. You need grammar more than grammar needs you.
Never eat the pie if you can own the fork.
Don’t think new is better. Don’t think new is not better. Don’t think, read. Don’t think, ink.
Poetry is the nude that stays nude.
Never write the first line if you already know the last. The best poem is the unwritten poem.
Don’t break the window before you look at the view.
Don’t think that if you have two manuscripts, you have two manuscripts. You have one manuscript.
Don’t eat jargon, because you’ll shit jargon.
Don’t think poetry is a religion. It’s more important than religion.”
all women were bigger and stronger than you
and thought they were smarter
women were the ones who started wars
too many of your friends had been raped by women wielding giant dildos
and no K-Y Jelly
the state trooper
who pulled you over on the New Jersey Turnpike
was a woman
and carried a gun
the ability to menstruate
was the prerequisite for most high-paying jobs
your attractiveness to women depended
on the size of your penis
every time women saw you
they’d hoot and make jerking motions with their hands
women were always making jokes
about how ugly penises are
and how bad sperm tastes
you had to explain what’s wrong with your car
to big sweaty women with greasy hands
who stared at your crotch
in a garage where you are surrounded
by posters of naked men with hard-ons
men’s magazines featured cover photos
of 14-year-old boys
tucked into the front of their jeans
and articles like:
“How to tell if your wife is unfaithful”
“What your doctor won’t tell you about your prostate”
“The truth about impotence”
the doctor who examined your prostate
was a woman
and called you “Honey”
you had to inhale your boss’s stale cigar breath
as she insisted that sleeping with her
was part of the job
you couldn’t get away because
the company dress code required
you wear shoes
designed to keep you from running
And what if
after all that
women still wanted you
to love them.
Is it just me or you don’t really realise how drunk you are until you are in a bathroom alone???