beautiful snail

  1. The moment you notice beauty in something commonplace.
  2. Just after reading the work of another poet or writer you really love.
  3. Any moment you’re feeling playful, sassy, sexy, raunchy, free, wild, or horny. Or, um, just after.
  4. When your expectations are disappointed or destroyed. To remember your power.
  5. After you feel a wave—of love, fear, despair, anger, joy, friendship, etc.—recognized by accompanying bodily feelings, which are invisible superpowers, such as goose bumps, laughing out loud, the hair on your arms standing up, heart pounding, knots in stomach, crying, or finishing each other’s sentences.
  6. At a time of your choosing, but at the same time, every day. Creation is birthed in spontaneity and nurtured in routine. When your writing routine becomes habit, without thought, that’s when things really get interesting!
  7. Any time you are aware of and reveling in your own physical movement through space.
  8. When you or someone you love is experiencing loss, illness, sorrow, or pain. With or without poetry, we must walk here. The walk is better with poetry.
  9. When you’re so thrilled to be alone that you dance a little bit.
  10. Just after you experience something that pops you back in time. To write with the abandon of your kid self.
  11. Responding to the prompts of other poets. To bathe in the perfect momentary joy of creating with your widely dispersed kin.
  12. When you’re surrounded by so much chaos and noise that nobody will even notice you writing. To gain a greater understanding of your triple superhero powers: deep freedom, invisibility, and non-time-bounded influence.

I made this list by looking back at my work from the past 6 months, identifying my favorite pieces, and then thinking about where I was and what was happening when I created them. If you have additional ideas to share with me about this, please do. I’m really curious how other poets experience this.