You can stare at your ceiling all night
And drink scalding coffee,
Too bitter for your tastes
But enough to keep you awake.
You can regurgitate similes and metaphors,
Dust of your thesaurus
And stain your fingers with coloured inks.
But that does not make you a poet.
Crying in front of the mirror
And giving your heart away
Just for something to write about
Does not make you a poet.
Not unless you mean it.
Is more than rhythm and rhyme,
It is more than iambic pentameter
And school lesson dissections.
Poetry is emotion
Fought and barely tamed,
Twisted into letters and words
And forced upon a page
That is resentful for the ink
That soils it.
Poetry is wrestled from the very soul,
With hands still grazed and bleeding
From the fight.
Poetry is vulgar and explicit,
But it is true.
So swallow the coffee you wish
You'd never started drinking
And nurse the bruises under your eyes.
But it will not make you a poet.
Not until you can press your emotions
Between the pages in stained books
Like pressed flowers
Can you create real poetry.
And not until you have handled those flowers,
Their petals as delicate as butterfly wings,
And offered them for others to hold
Can you call yourself a poet.