Don’t be afraid to cover a tune, or a poem, or a story you love, but if you do, make it your own. If you must, wear blue mascara. When you make eye contact, well, make eye contact.

Do crunches. Age well.

If you’re still reading the same poems twenty years later, don’t let your wardrobe fall behind. Show your butt. Though I don’t recommend leather pants for a poet. Fiction writers perhaps. Poets not so much. But strut. Yes. See last entry.

What do crunches mean in a literary sense? Don’t let your lines go slack: rein it in. Less is even more so the second and third time around.

Get leaner, not looser.

What to say when buddy says your poem lacks what he thinks makes for good poetry? (Fill in the blanks there it really could be anything…) Well? What to say?

Say the next poem. More forcefully.

Do it harder, firmer, louder, but keep your work on your terms. Don’t respond to the critics. Unless what you’re going to end up with is Art Objects. Or create your own dialog (and here and here).