How does a poem begin?
My poems almost always begin by accident…it’s hard, unless I’m trying to write into a specific gap in a manuscript, for me to try to just sit down and write a poem. But if I give myself a craft exercise or technique to practice, a poem might just show up. Often one poem leads directly into the next, and then I have to go back through a word blob and figure out which parts are one poem, which parts are another, which parts are vestigial and can be released. But that’s what I really enjoy. The pressure is off to face a blank page and Write a Poem. Instead it’s more of an excavation of what’s already there, once I’ve generated big chunks of words. The poem and I discover each other in the process. In a sense, I begin each time, rather than the poem—because each time I’m discovering what poem could be or what I think a poem is.