Remember you are a lonely artist.
Reading Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet.
Finished a book, Angela Duckworth’s Grit.
New medicines in my cabinet.
Wishes are for wells, says Grit.
You have to make it happen.
My toes dip into the white ocean
Of another digital page.
I walk into a corner and I find my open eyes
And overactive mind.
I sit them down. Let’s have a talk, I say.
IListen, you have been up too long.
You have thought too many thoughts.
And they say We are trying to sleep.
We have work tomorrow, come back later.

And I wish them off to sleep
And sit back and read Rilke
Like Rilke is a buzzword.

I don’t need to see your life unfolding.
I just need to see mine, moving
And if it is moving, then I will keep it moving.
In more directions.
Oh this lonely, hateful world of art
Where 250 plus poems doesn’t make you a poet,
Where they look you in the eye and say,
No Rhymes. Revise.
And I say Deadline.
And they say You suck.
And I say Fine.
And maybe my poetry is a bowl of words
Thrown against the wall.
Maybe I should try harder.
But young poet, let me part a word.
I feel I can do that.
Remember, you are a lonely artist.
And art is lonely.
Those likes, they are not really yours.
And the garbage is in the details,
The non-fiction fiction,
The slow and steady rough decline.
I’ll own that. That’s mine.
Don’t lose your mind, like I lost mine.
It Is simple, somewhere along the way,
I lost. It. The idea, that I am imparting.
And that is what should fuel you. The art.
So young poet, don’t stop your pen.
Don’t fall into the slam sound.
Don’t lose who you are.
Don’t love likes.
Art. Coupled with the pain. The Uncertainty,
The only certainty, that we all are words.
Words to describe us, define us
And eventually every word
On every page
And knowing that each word eventually ends,
Should fuel you
To write.
Maybe what you write will be shit.
But somewhere along the way.
You will right the ship.
Simply put, don’t give up.


Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His new book is Train of Thought.