How does a poem begin?
For me, a poem begins with the initial crystal of an idea often in the form of a snatch of phrase that comes to me and won’t let go, or I find an angle of view or metaphor I hadn’t considered before. I carry that around for a while and would usually set it down in my notes. Days, or sometimes, several weeks would usually pass before I realize what it was meant for, or what to pair it with. Frequently, these sharp crystals meld with or give an approach to my ongoing themes, the ones I always return to. Books very often prompt that awareness of intriguing notions that I get obsessed with. The collection I’m completing now, for instance, inspired by a single line in another collection I read this year.