Writing poems, you want to focus
on what to leave out; for example,
leave out phrases like for example,
one of the academics on a jaunt.

The leaves fall; for example,
consider the maple.

The maple tree green
suddenly bare.

Another academic wishing
he was a real poet
and not just another drunk
in a bar after his night class.

Leave out articles, too (the, a, an).
And add detail with specificity.

The maple tree lime green in
spring turns to fall and rust.

Use a dictionary to make sure
you’ve got the best verb
for the occasion:
turns might become (now or later)
lathe, which suggests circular motion:

Lime green leaves
limbs on lathe
leaves shaved
disposition zest.

Also important to think
about when to leave
the poem
go home.

But new ideas will arrive.
The place gets crowded,
maybe noisy:

The poet bartender
adds a piece of zest
to drinks she prepares,
which twists what
is said, lips pucker
distastefully sour –
better just have one more
and then get on home.

At the Spinning Lathe Bar
on each stool sits
a ball of yarn
she looms back and forth
warp and weft
she sheds, picks, and beats
takes up and lets off
replenishing drinks
replacing fresh pints.

Midnight and she wants
to go pee and go home
leaves cover the way
streetlights smolder
black branches wet
she approaches the stairs
of the Metro and falls
amidst the rusted leaves
still wearing her bar
stained apron.

She undresses in front
of the backlit window
her breasts are orange
tipped her yellow hair
in the streetlamp light
flooding her bedroom.

She climbs into bed
thinking Spring is
a seemingly happy
drunk Fall often sobers.