I love this poem

“Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?”

Ron Koertge

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It’s all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author’s name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, “Shhhh.”

Then start again.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “I love this poem

  1. victoria

    Now I want to go to the library and write! Too bad I have a $97.00 library fee and cannot show my face there!

  2. That is so good! Copied it for keepsies. Interestingly, I tend to generally avoid places where people where turtlenecks. I feel so affirmed.

  3. marissaburt

    haha! Turtlenecks are always suspicious. 🙂

  4. marissaburt

    !!! And I thought my fines were bad! I like to think that I’m donating to a good cause – makes me feel better about all the fines – ha!

  5. Ooh, I love this, too! I’ve been writing at the library every day for a week and it’s pretty great. =)

  6. marissaburt

    Yes! Though I’m not sure I’m bold enough to laugh out loud in the library. 😉

  7. Great poem. I love writing in the library!

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