Let me wear this floral print and hide in the bushes
with my face on fire. Permit me this incandescence.
— JD Scott, “Days After,” published in Leveler

I do not always have the right thing to say

my foot sometimes moves without me

a wing of my library is filled

with only the knocking of one cuckoo clock

— Anis Mojgani, “somewhere in my body are two flowers for the same person,” published in Rattle
Some traditionalists seem to think that forms exist to be solved for their own sake, as if the poet is an engineer. That’s just foolish. If a poet finds himself solving the problems of a form simply for the sake of challenge, he has the wrong form.
— Richard Hugo, “Stray Thoughts on Roethke and Teaching,” from The Triggering Town
I don’t want to fuck you so much as I want to
write a really bad poem about fucking you.
— Stephanie Goehring, “Why I’m Not A Nature Poet,” published in Lambda Literary
From a poetic perspective I would like to say that it is not my responsibility to write what is clean and free from bullshit. It is my responsibility to write what I want to write.
— Lisa Marie Basile, interviewed by Amelia Shroyer for Huffington Post
Water cuts the earth in private, although
anyone who wants to see it happen

can go down the river in a tin canoe
and camp among the tamarisk.

I’d like to do to you what the Colorado River
did to the Grand Canyon.
— Iris Cushing, “Channel,” published in Apercus Quarterly
Yeah, sometimes you sit down with the paper or the screen in front of you with a bunch of stuff in your head that you want to work out. You have a reason why you’re doing it, like something happened or you had a thought that caused you to sit down and write. But you shouldn’t say, “Oh, I know exactly what the last line is going to be.” You just start writing, because the poem itself is the process of figuring that kind of thing out. It’s literally thinking on the page. And I think when you come to the page, the more you have with you the more trouble you’ll have. It’s like the scene in Empire Strikes Back when Luke goes into the cave and Yoda says essentially, “Don’t take your blaster in there. You don’t need it.” Luke brings it and it screws everything up. It causes problems. But if he went in there pure and simple and authentic he would have had a much different experience.
— Nate Pritts, interviewed by Ana Garcia for Parallax
The ocean stopped being cruel
so the sailors went home.
No one jumped from cliffs anymore.
People stopped painting and photographing the ocean
because the sentiment felt too close to a Hallmark card.
— Keegan Lester, “the topography of this place,” published in POOL