Interview with the Mentor

“You gotta let your poems sing, man!”
the old poet said.
His red ball cap perched atop his head
like a lonely old moment of youth,
covering a mind alive with creativity
bursting at the seams
with a colorful orchestra of many conductors,
all of them arguing at the same time;
the music becoming all chaotic.
“You’ve been too tense, too analytical!
You’re killing the passion man!”
I mutter aloud as I scribble
into my notepad, trying
so hard, so desperately
to get everyone of this madman’s words
into my records and eventually,
into my writing.
He takes a bite of his croissant.
I take a note of it.
The already cold food
on my own plate
sits with indifference and lack of opinion.
He finishes chewing and takes
another breath.
“You gotta let the poems write themselves!
Don’t try! If it doesn’t happen, do something else!”
I’m no Bukowski, but I agree.
Once our meal is finished I thank him for his time.
He taps his pocket three times,
tap tap tap,
and I say
“Don’t worry, I’ll pay,”
and he smiles and walks away.
I look on with envy as he saunters
across the street at the passing light,
blending into the mysterious lives
of placid pedestrians and common strangers…
Later that night
you could see no more a pathetic sight
than me sitting before my typewriter
and a blank page
that refused to be anything but.
And I sat
and sat
and sat
and chose
not to do
anything else.


Inspired by a conversation with the poet Juan Felipe Herrera, who is the current U.S. Poet Laureate.
Here's that interview

I'm only poking a little bit of fun at the expense of the "mentor." In all honesty I am really inspired by Herrera, so inspired I wrote this poem with him in mind

Coffee-Shop, Conversation, Envy, Inspiration, Interview, Jennings Learner, Man, Mentor, Old, Parker, Poem, Poet, Poetry, Pupil, Student, Young,

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