balladeer of moons
HOW TO BECOME A FAMOUS AMERICAN POET
From age fifteen, swallow the thesaurus;
Memorize Roethke and the main Greek Chorus.
Rebel against all professors and Undergraduates.
Absorb the drama: principally Williams and Odets.
Scorn the sober professions as distractions from Rhyme.
Try repeatedly to die -- and nearly do one time.
Run the streets wildly and take on all comers;
Ornament your winters with extravagant summers.
Accumulate lovers with finely wrought lines;
Model big white hats and dress-to-the-nines.
Talk up the mediocrity of the literary brokers,
Shiftless academics and the chronic self-strokers.
Complain of the gap between greatness and fame.
Cite the vacuity, triteness, and vanity of a name.
Wander into the middle years with no compass for tomorrow.
Shipwreck two marriages and romanticize sorrow.
Finally, drop the madman pose and the derring-do,
And befriend a clever editor who's likely to outlive you.