Rules for Poets


whenever possible:

  • sell yourself
  • refer to yourself as “A Poet”
  • refer to other Poets whose names are well and widely known
  • refer to your own informal interactions with same famous Poets
  • refer to famous Poets by nicknames*
  • build a local committee of Poetry Experts and refer to each other
  • refer to your “Work”
  • speak and write frequently about your publishing accomplishments
  • refer frequently to your detailed bio
  • push yourself as a commodity
  • exploit publishing successes to catapult a professional Poet career
  • write fervently in public cafés
  • become a whore to your “Art”
  • romanticize your sacrifices
  • skewer yourself on the Altar of Truth
  • contract an obscure and incurable venereal disease
  • tell anybody who listens that you have to write
  • start a blog and link to other Poets
  • disdain others who likewise adopt these Poet behaviors
  • disdain Poets who don’t link to your blog
  • wear vests and fingerless gloves
  • wear a beret
  • let others know that you prefer to break rules
  • promote your alternative economic stimulus plan
  • write all your emails and blog posts with line breaks
  • favor the lower case “i”
  • wear only black
  • run for president
  • talk about how you quit drinking coffee
  • spend what little money you have on another tattoo
  • think often of people reading your oeuvre after you’re dead
  • die young and frequently of obscure and incurable venereal diseases
  • refer often to process
  • admit that you never revise
  • wear only red
  • invent a ridiculous name for your Group Practice
  • refer to this ridiculous name for the next 60 years
  • excuse yourself because you’re too busy writing
  • avoid work and responsibilities
  • overdose frequently on excessive combinations of drugs and alcohols
  • drink coffee until it hurts so that you can claim once again quits
  • promote the Work of Poets who link to your blog
  • associate Poets linked to your blog with ridiculous group name
  • wear only brown
  • post semi-nude photos of yourself online
  • move to The City**
  • qualify recent publications as Recent
  • annoyingly emphasize even enjambments when reading aloud
  • mention your Work as Forthcoming
  • drop obscure hints about your Work in Progress
  • get married so that you can have extramarital affairs
  • begin sentences with this morning I wrote on my blog
  • refer to your Archives
  • start a rock band so that you can be Lead Talker
  • revise obsessively
  • compile useless lists
  • remind people that you lived in San Francisco

* (whenever mentioning Robert Creeley, be sure to say “Bob)

** you know which one



3 Responses to “Rules for Poets”

  1. 1 Stephen

    thanks always to Monica for her excellent suggestions

  2. 2 Monica

    Thanks always to Steve for his funny lists.

  3. 3 xty

    i have nothing witty to add

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