from Janet Holmes' HUMANAPHONE:

I just romped through Daphne Gottleib's How Things Burn, which begins with the hilarious "Mastering the Art of Poetry," a poem that borrows text from a manual called The Topping Book. Here's an excerpt:

if you want your poem to beg or struggle
make that clear.
listen to your poem's desires
and get ready

to be powerful and terrible.
your poem is quivering in front of you
and your iron will
as it kisses the collar you hold...

tell your poem
"you're about to get a verb you'll never forget, you little slut."

tell your poem
"I want to hear you scream."

tell your poem
"you only get forty more words, you greedy bitch!"

Daphne gave me the same chap at AWP. If all things go well, Daphne will be on one of my panels, and Janet on the other!


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