Advice to Young Poets

Inhabit a cave made of language!
Let the voices of the past
root like trumpet-vine seedlings in your ear!
Read everything, own nothing, subsist on a diet of words!
  
Pretty dark in this cave, man.
Feeling hungry.
Need a little sunlight, order of nachos.
  
Light a candle with the song in your heart.
Drink from a puddle of rainwater and true rhyme.
Enjoy the soft fruits of solitude.
Eat a bowl of alliteration.
Suck on syntax.
  
Stuffy in here, damp as hell.
What's that horrible smell?
  
It's nice in the poetry cave, give it a chance.
Kick back a little bit,
draw some antelopes on the wall.
  
There's a bear in here!
  
Don't worry about the bear.
Absolutely harmless.
  
That bear just ate Esmeralda!
  
Nice name for a poet.
  
Oh, Esmeralda!
  
Funny thing, that bear
never bothered anyone before.
  
When's the last time
you were in this cave?
  
In the cave—actually inside the cave?
  
Last time you even set eyes on the cave?
  
Oh, years ago, back when I was starting out.
Great place, loved it,
remember it like it was yesterday.
  
Anymore advice, Einstein?
  
Don't fear the reaper.
Don't feed the stripper.
Don't fish for stripers.
Don't rip your knickers.
Don't ride a tiger like a jockey.
Don't get cocky playing air hockey.
  
I'm gone…
  
Eye of the tiger, Rocky,
eye of the tiger!
The Custodian and Other Poems
Campbell McGrath
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The Custodian and Other Poems

Campbell McGrath

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