If we could write
simply by placing
on a page
it would relieve
the pain we endure
trying to be original
at any price

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I especially agree with Susan’s comnmet “Don’t tell a story longer than the poem.” I was once at a reading where the poet only read about 5 short poems in 20 minutes because each poem had an elaborate introduction and explanation.One “don’t” I would add—if the featured reader is followed by an open mic, and you are there to participate in the open mic, don’t attempt to read every poem you’ve ever written as if you are the featured reader.

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