Thinking Up You
I create and recreate you,
every day in my mind.
I could do a better job,
but really, why should I?
You're a son of a bitch,
and there's so little good material
to work with.
Where it comes from….
Thinking Up You came to me when I stopped to ask myself about obsessing over a specific nemesis. That passed, but the verse stayed.
Writing out of frustration, as I did here and in The Uncaptain of a Nonship, rarely ends up well.
I’ve written poetry since my early teens, and I once thought about making it a career. That is, I dreamed of becoming the next Walt Whitman, and then, I learned that the world wasn’t looking for one.
But I kept writing. It was sometimes in fits and starts. Not having readers will do that.
I finally realized that readers don’t really matter. Write down what you’re given, edit thoughtfully but not excessively, and readers will find it.
And it became clear that I had no choice. I wrote in my head all the time, anyway. I might as well practice the art, get some of it down on paper.
Well, digital paper, which is all Thinking Up You has gotten so far. My book 21 Poems was already on the street when the lines streamed across my mind.
I read when I was a kid that a “major poet” was one who read his or her own work. At the time, I struggled to believe that a career in verse was possible, but I guess I made it.
I still love reading my own poems. Some haven’t aged as well as others, but nobody said you had to read all of them to be “major.”
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David Stone is a New York based writer. His most recent book is 21 Poems.