Writing Process

The logical place to begin a poetry reading is with a poem about the writing process. From the American Journal of Poetry, Writing Process.

                 Writing Process

What a stroke of luck when your best friend dies of cancer
six days after your lover is struck by a bus,
to describe anguish in poignant prose.

And the smell of your flesh burning under molten slag,
or suffering a sliver of rusted steel slicing your cornea,
is red meat to starving metaphor.

Unload a boxcar baking in the searing summer sun, then
jackhammer 100 feet of concrete on a 100-degree day
to percolate powerful hyperbole.

It would help to be thrown face-first into a cell
where you sleep in a puddle of vomit
to describe humility with credibility.

You should run ten miles with the homeless,
then drop your last dollar in a vagrant’s dirty paper cup
before drafting even one line about empathy.

Finally, trek from the summit of Mount Blanc
to the cobbled streets of Trastevere
to craft poetic verse manifesting magnificence.

But not until you see the crown of an infant
emerge from the womb, or the foal from the mare,
will the writing process begin.

Jim Brennan


About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
This entry was posted in poetry, Poetry, Running, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Writing Process

  1. arsenios says:

    Reminds me a circumstances of attempting to compose a Modern objet d’art of medicine. Pretty sinister but I like it a circumstances.


  2. Monk says:

    Autobiography in approx 150 words. Brilliant!


  3. Pretty dark but I like it a lot. Reminds me a lot of attempting to compose a new piece of music.


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