pain and possibilities

“Most people trying to write poetry don’t get it.

They build on fuzzy ideas like anarchy or love.  But that’s like throwing a punch at the wind.  You can’t connect.  You have to build your poem on images, and tilt those images at your own angle.  If you’re lucky, they’ll come alive.

Take two images:

girl falls asleep on a Greyhound bus
the moon rises

By itself, the moon rising is nothing.  It’s a cliché.  But the girl falling sleep and missing the moonrise is everything.  It blasts the poem with pain and possibilities.  Figure out what those possibilities are and you have a poem.”

Jonathan, in Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft (p. 39)

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