Advice to a Poet
for William Carlos Williams
First see things as they are:
a red wheelbarrow
sweet, cold plums
Then add bias, interpretation: a red useful wheelbarrow
Add nuance: sweeter, colder, plummier plums
Add snow, bitter winds, hands stuffed in pockets turning blue,
Feet tripping over the wheelbarrow, half buried in snow.
Add Elvis singing, “It’s now or never/come hold me tight.”
Add one raised eyebrow, add a fast-beating heart.
Then climb in the wheelbarrow and ride away eating plums.