It’s a simple procedure. Start at the top of the page
to the far left with whatever spurs your interest.
There’s so much left to chance then. Go right
and down, working the pen meticulously across
blue lines until you have enough for a skipped
line, a break. Now you’ve completed a first stanza
and are well on your way to an undislodged destination.
But you have to throw in something concrete, specific,
and in addition, even better, something quite beautiful
in its own strange way – a pileated woodpecker
with a beak shaped like a popsicle sucked dry
by a strain of sugar-thirsty Papalonian tick-mites.
This gives you credibility and a corpuscular node
of creative license which you may need to show
as identification to those on guard at the next
wine and cheese gathering of local word-rangers
(as opposed to word-arrangers who are cheap
facsimiles best left in the slimy culverts found under
the road to poetic fame and imaginary fortune).
By this time you, in your wild-west-show creativity,
should have four or five stanzas and be approaching
the bottom of the page. So start to wrap it up
with a lasso of linguistic color-coded rope
twined from your own phantasmagorical words.
Leave the reader goggle-eyed as a new-roped calf
struggling in the shadow of a grotesque oak
while delusional lumberjacks with blue chain-saws
and rusted timber-pikes attempt to fine-prune
techniques for your first outdoor poetry reading,
with megaphone, placards, cheerleaders and everything.
Recently retired from the insurance claims business Steve Roberts resides on eight acres of Hoosier soil, pretending it to be wilderness. He spends more time now pondering trees, envying birds, playing with grandchildren, not necessarily in that order. He has recently had poems published or accepted in Steam Ticket, Slant, Passager, Timber Creek Review, and Ellipsis. He continues to write as if the world doesn't depend on it.