You go from workshop to workshop,
hone your craft with experts in the
field, who tell you when something
you write works or does not.
You’d like to please some people,
sell some books, write “good” stuff,
where the deciders of “good” are
your teachers in that impressive class.
You pay them some money, they
show you their credentials, but
strangely leave out the Pritchard
Scale for good poetry, a mistake.
You are ready to graph your efforts
against the “best” in the world, where
the “best” in the world are of course
decided upon by experts in the room.
I shall be telling this with a sigh some-
where ages and ages hence; two types
of poetry diverged in the soul of motives
to write, and I, I finally write to please
my higher power from dreams no
classrooms can touch or inspire. I
refute right and wrong in poetic
adventure, deny your “expert” status,
But Love you and encourage you to
strip your titles away to write and perform
the totally free way; I wouldn’t pay a cent
to sit in a workshop by Robert Frost,
but I’d pay a hundred to see, hear and
watch him perform. Better yet, I’d bring
a poem, for the best readings are free,
the best poems from the heart, that aid
in the warming of oft’ frightful night.
“Read to me some poem, some
simple and heartfelt lay,” read Longfellow’s
“Day is Done,” then have an open mic.