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Alan Harris reading

Nine Steps to a Poem

by Alan Harris
Get born.

Have a confusing
non-fatal childhood.

Grapple with religion
and let it think it won.

Work at a job that has
nothing to do with poetry.

Be amazed at how people
can act the way they do.

Revel and fail in love x times
before a settling occurs.

Struggle with y dilemmas
and escape z threats to life.

Fail to let go of an idea
that fails to let go of you.

Hold onto your pen while
the poem writes itself.





From the book Just Below Now (2000)

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