The Only Poem I Wrote Tonight That I Liked was Self Criticism

No that sucks

stop trying to write that way

you’re being too indulgent

you used that big word to sound intellectual

you gotta stop trying

so hard

remember Wu Wei

remember Jack Micheline

passing out stucco’d chapbooks on the street

like a bum

remember what Bukowski said


don’t listen to what Bukowski said

listen to what your mind says

when it’s at rest

listen to the water dripping

in your soul

No goddammit

you’re trying

too hard again just relax

remember what Hemingway said

remember Saroyan’s advice

remember Salinger alone

in Cornish, NH

remember Christ on the Cross

the Zen Buddhists burning alive

the persecution of the Jews

remember the way Rita Hayworth danced

remember that

comparisons are odious

Actually no


listen to any of this

just keep writing just keep

writing and don’t


until you notice a large smile spreading over

your face and write about


until it goes away


put your pen down



did you win?

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