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August 8, 2014


can one hone a craft without discipline?
my first experience of poetry was probably
pop song lyrics of the 1970s. billy joel
seemed pretty deep and edgy to me then.
graduated from that to rap, new wave, and punk,
roughly in that order but with lots of overlap.
in college i studied literature, where the poetry
taught was moth-eaten and moldy. that dismal
exposure led me to writing mocking doggerel
to pierce the pretensions of useless education.
that all changed when i stumbled upon Howl.
one thing led to another and a year later i was
studying with the man himself, allen ginsberg.
first thought, best thought was the Beats' call
but i learned they too revised a lot. but i still
thought of poems as something that pounced
on you; no use in forcing them. but here i am
halfway through august poetry postcard fest,
applying a little daily discipline to my usually
haphazard catch-as-catch-can "process." like
woody says, "80% of success is showing up."

PPF #15/31