Where do ideas come from? How about stories, poems, songs? And if you don’t jot them down, where do they go?

I listened to an interview with singer/songwriter Jason Isbell about his most recent album and he said the songs came to him in the middle of the night, so he got up, made a pot of coffee and began writing because, “Otherwise, you know, it goes away.” He was referring to the songs, of course. It’s a common observation artists make, whether writers, musicians or poets. Get it down before it disappears.

Where does a poem come from? And where does it go if you don’t get it down?


Never let a line

get by


on scratch paper

computer paper

tissue paper

bond paper

toilet paper


it turns to



About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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6 Responses to Vapor

  1. LB says:

    Love the quote “Get it down, people”!
    And your words … never let a line get by.

    and on another completely different note: in addition to getting back on the bicycle, I’ve started race walking, which led to running (my version of it anyway). I know that 2 miles isn’t much, but I’m getting there 🙂


    • Jim Brennan says:

      I’m proud of you, LB. Don’t push it, listen to your body. Two miles isn’t shabby. Take what your body gives you. You won’t be sorry. It will rub off on other aspects of your life–what you put into your body, your sleep, your work, your play.


  2. This is very true! I’ve lost a lot that way by just going to day it’s gone. We learn 🙂


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