a big beautiful mess

Begin

When you decide to begin, there are a few things you will need:

Paper is essential. Batteries die and screens freeze, but paper is eternal — to a point. Everything can be typed up later — this is your immortality after all.

A pen.

Turn off your cell phone. Don’t just put it on vibrate, for the blinking light of texts to check will disturb your reverie. Turn if off — or at the very least, leave it in the next room.

You will need a place to write, a ritual — a cluttered desk or a coffee shop or a particular seat on the bus, by the window; whichever you prefer.

You must have a vice: choose coffee or wine, cigarettes or purchasing nostalgicĀ knick-knacks. Flaws are the stuff of poets, fabricated or otherwise.

And one last thing: tethered to your heart, a thread of humanity, drawing you down to despair, tugging you upward to glory, to the ecstasy of self-awareness.

Draw this string taut, wax your bow carefully.

These are the instruments of poetry.

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