How does a poem begin?
With an instigating line, or an image, maybe a sound, a dream even. Or witnessing something so bizarre it begs for the slantwise approach of poetry to make sense of it. This morning I read an article (on the heels of another horrific school shooting) about a religious congregation in Pennsylvania coming to church in the hundreds for a mass wedding of all congregants. And they were toting their AR-15 rifles because they believe the AR-15 symbolizes the "rod of iron" in the biblical Book of Revelation. How can this not be the basis of a poem?
I often discover after I have written a poem that the reason I wrote it, the motivating force, was to try to understand or make some sense of the incomprehensible. Fortunately, I don’t see that when I start writing, or it would probably wreck the poem.