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On the Fine Art of Poetry Writing
by Wayne Scheer

So I says to my muse,
I says,
“I need a poem. Pronto!
Been at the computer all day
and the wife thinks
I'm just loafing.”

“Sure thing,” my muse says,
rolling her eyes,
like she thinks I don't see.
“You want free verse or rhyme,
maybe a nice cento,
or an ottava rima?
Perhaps a double-dactyl would do?”

“Yeah,” I says. “Whatever.”
And I stare at the blank screen
you know like when you order
a pizza and you're starving
and the guy's flirting with a waitress
instead a making your pie.

So I tap on my desk.
“I need my poem.”
My muse
makes her lips so tight
I don't know how
words can slip through,
and she says,

So I back off a little.
She needs her space. I unnerstand.
I check out some baseball news
and read emails.
And when I go back to my poem,
nothing's there,
except a note from my muse saying
she ran off with a poet from Iowa.

So I just write
what's been happening to me
and hope
it looks like a poem,
cause I got no clue
what a ottava rima is.