5. How does a poem begin?
For me it begins with an image, a sound, a line or a picture. I often come up with ideas for poems when I am stuck in traffic. Since I live in LA and this happens almost every day on my way to work, having a notebook and a pen is handy when inspiration strikes you. I’ve always said, when inspiration calls, no matter where you are, you got to accept the charges. So, when a line or an idea comes into my head, I write it down. Usually some of the best poems come to life like this. One poem, “Book Like A Woman,” from my poetry collection Flashes & Verses was actually written in the parking lot of a famous bookstore in Pasadena. “Her only Light in Vegas” was penned during a stay on the strip, passing the slot machines, I spent all weekend crafting that one poem in our hotel room. “Living Next to Henry Miller” was inspired by a Los Angeles Magazine byline that I saw waiting in line at Sprouts while I was buying groceries. I started jotting down a few lines and when I got home I looked up the article and was disappointed on what I read. So, I wrote a poem what I imagined what it would be like living next to Miller. For me a poem is always just around the corner. I don’t ever want to miss the chance of transcribing a poem that will change my life. Eddie Vedder said it best. “I just try to remember where that initial spark came from, and it’s like a pilot light, and I try to make sure that thing doesn’t go out.” As a poet you don’t want to ever let that light go out. Follow any inclination and let that poem begin to come to life on your age.
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