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(for Thomas Lux)
by Bruce Dethlefsen

throw the ball back to the pitcher better
- Bang the Drum Slowly

pay perfect attention to what's going on
what's going under
and what's going on under

question everything that moves
interrogate everything that doesn't

daydream deliberately
use your x-ray vision
but pay no attention to those little editors
behind the curtain

shower and sleep with pen and paper
don't let the big one get away

keep your antenna up
but if the voices get too bad
wear a square of aluminum foil
under your watch cap

learn each rule then break each rule
be prepared to read anything
anytime anywhere for nothing

learn humility
what do you think you're some kind of genius?
there's always a faster gun in town

when you're with others
try to act normal
as if all this matters somehow
walk as though you have somewhere to go
when you're alone float for all I care

connect the strings you see
that flutter in the wind
eat bruised fruit
howl at the moon from time to time

dance with everyone
even before you hear the music come

learn another language

know that although it seems like it
not everything is poetry

understand that one average plumber
is worth five good doctors
or three great poets

in short pay attention
write better
and yes the flying dreams are the best

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