The way I write…
I brainstorm twenty titles
words or phrases
that sound good to me
that subconsciously
already feel like parts of me
then I refine them
and refine them
pile them up around my feet

And when I’m in the mood to write
I’ll either start writing
(with aim or aimlessly)
until I get stuck
then I grab a title
work it in the lock
release whatever’s hidden
(and it feels good)

Or I choose a title
poking from the ground
reach for my shovel pen
and begin the excavating
find the poem that’s buried beneath
(and it feels good)

Those phrases, those titles
feel like friends I haven’t met yet
that sense you get
when crossing paths with someone
and feel you already know them
or that there’s a story between the two of you
and you just hope that it gets told

The stories we got to tell
are ripe for poems
and the stories that slipped through our hands
can be riper, can be richer sometimes

So, I’ll begin
gathering my titles
and choose one for you…


Thanks for reading.

Give your eyes a break and listen to some poems

Published by

Tom Alexander

"Art is a lie that tells the truth"

14 thoughts on “Technique”

      1. Well, I’m not sure about that 🤔😁

        I really just write what comes into my head at the time and try not to edit too much if I’m honest.

        Sometimes I can write 10 – 15 ‘poems’ in a row, but it’s mostly just one or two a day nowadays.

        Sometimes it’s titles first and sometimes it’s the words first. Just depends on the words that come.

        I draw a lot from personal experience, and reference some pretty tricky subjects, so I tend to leave them in drafts for a while, then have a quick tidy up before posting.

        Inspiration wise it can be anything really, but there’s always a lyric or a musical influence in there somewhere.

        It was refreshing to read this one from you – it certainly describes a very similar process to my own.

        I look forward to more 🖤🖤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I thought there must be a musical inspiration going on there somewhere. Perhaps your lyrically inspired username…. Short and sweet/bitter poems with a punch. Your technique is certainly working for you anyway. I wish I could write as succinctly as you.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s interesting isn’t it?

        I’m envious of your lyrical, whimsical, flowing style. I just don’t have the ability to write poetry like that.

        I guess on some level we all want what we don’t have 🤔😊🖤

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha, that sounds about right. I think it’s probably a good sign that we’re ambitious and wanting to continually improve or grow… Or, at least, that’s what I’ll choose to believe 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  1. ‘Or I choose a title
    poking from the ground
    reach for my shovel pen
    and begin the excavating
    find the poem that’s buried beneath
    (and it feels good)’
    I love, love, love this stanza. ‘Reach for my shovel pen and begin the excavating’. Wow. That’s exactly how it feels! Just keep digging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is! I have since been told Stephen King describes it in much the same way. I often start with a title and it’s so curious to me that somehow when I come up with a title, I know there is a poem there… and my job is to find the poem that goes with the title. The creative process is very mysterious. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well put Peter, and I couldn’t agree more. I always think I need everything aligned to write but then I find it leaking out all over the place no matter what I’m doing or how ramshackle the writing implements are. It just comes out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great poem!!! Loved the narration of your process!! Not trusting memory at my age I pull the same things out of the rumbling words in my mind and write them down in a Word Bank!! I have found, for me, it’s always better to root words on paper! Ha!

    You might enjoy this book, it’s really been a joy to me!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Anonymous, I am fascinated by the differing creative processes other writers and artists work by. My system works for me but I know many people work in other ways and I’m sure there’s a lot we can learn from one another. Thanks for sharing the book recommendation. I’ll take a look! Thanks for reading and commenting.


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