Writing Poetry

Writing Poetry

Kayla Hultz

Whenever I tell people I write poetry,
They go “I wish I could do that!”
I wish I could poet a poem,
Or purple a crayon,
I’ll canvas the Mona Lisa
And this time she’ll really be smiling,
Paint fumes are my perfume and I’ve got symphonies for ears,
I hear people say stuff like this all the time.
If you really wish you could write poetry,
You would have picked up the pen and never put it down.
You would have gone through that awful middle school stage
Where you only wrote couplets,
And it would take years for you to move on from rhyming,
Jumping into hip hop just to gain a sense of beat hultz | 2
For off-kilter verses,
You would scour Youtube for hours listening to spoken word
Because there’s no poetry slams in your mile-wide town,
And your work still wouldn’t feel good enough.
You’ll lose all those contests,
And it’ll check your ego
Until you’re a living checkmate.
Keep going.
Push yourself outside that tired, bread crumb aesthetic,
And remember you’re never too good to lose.
Art is never convenient,
It’ll never reschedule,
And that’s why so many people with potential are done by high school,
You convince yourself you haven’t outgrown your parents’ footprints.
Suddenly the life they planned for you is enough.
The corner office feels cozy hultz | 3
And you’re okay with calling a house home.
Fine.
But you’ll always need to get the paint out of your bloodstream,
Sneeze a masterpiece on every Kleenex,
Keep the color wheels rolling while there’s still fuel.
Poetry is never satisfied.
It’s a shrew, and it throws your paychecks in the fireplace,
It puts ketchup in your coffee and sometimes
Poetry gets mad when you go out drinking with the guys.
It’s the brooding housewife who smells like nail polish and arsenic,
But something about the way it folds the sheets
Makes you thankful.
What this all boils down to is,
You don’t wish you could write poetry,
You wish poetry was easier.
And I get it, art is scary. hultz | 4
It feels like putting a shoe on the wrong foot,
All asymmetrical and stupid.
Just know the poetry may be gap-toothed
But it still chews its food just fine.
Whatever you make is good enough,
Because at least you’ve made something.
Never stick to a comfort zone,
Because that stuff is like quicksand,
And don’t doubt yourself too much.
If it scares you, put it on paper.