Jeff Skinner

Advice to an Old Poet

Whatever you do
don’t make a fuss.
Avoid metaphors
they’re not for us.

Your voice should be
casual, ambiguity’s fine.
Today’s poet refrains
from end rhyme

unless in performance
or poetry slam
spreading a rap
with endless enjamb.

You could show it straight,
might show it slant.
Can I tell it? You ask.
No, you can’t.

Inversions are out.
If a bell this rings…
There will be no
ideas but in things.

Should it look like a poem
you’re halfway there
though it reads like prose
half won’t care.

As for metre,
am I condescending?
It’s almost as bad
as the big ENDING!

Copyright © Jeff Skinner 2016
My poems have appeared online in the Morning Star/Well Versed, the Stare’s Nest, Crowsfeet, Clear Poetry; and on a Guernsey bus. I was commended in the recent Wells Competition. I tweet occasionally @jeffsquibby


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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