The pages of my first book of poetry come from a collection of thirty years of random thoughts and expressions usually scribbled down on paper napkins, backs of shopping lists, margins of phone bills, and scraps of paper bags. Mostly, poetry comes to me in violent outbursts of emotion that must be written down the very instant it arrives, or be lost forever.
Poetry is a fast-moving river, and I have the opportunity to dip a cupful once in a while. Without seizing the moment to dip the cup, the river moves on, and the feeling disappears.
Sometimes only a single line is retrieved and the rest of the poem must be painfully squeezed from that moment. The best poems, and you will recognize them immediately in this collection, were ones that came to me as complete expressions, when I slid to a stop on the side of the freeway or raced into the house to find paper and pen to write them down.
The job for me as a poet is to be prepared at all times for those few moments a month when lightning strikes, the river floods it banks, and the words flow in a seemingly endless list of lines, straight from the heart, separate from thought. The great poems come to me in bunches, five or six at a time, then months might go by before another good moment strikes. I may write every day, but most become fodder for the shredder.
Perhaps the job for you as the reader is to search out poems that strike deep into your heart, cherish their resonance and seek new discoveries often. A good poem might even give voice to the poet that lives inside you.
Read some Sample poems from Kicking Ass and Taking Names