If only we could write
just by laying
our fingerprints
on the page
this would avoid
the hurt we incur
in the quest for originality
regardless of the cost

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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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