City Desk

How to Write a Poem That Gets Published in The Washington Post

Washington Post

Summer moon.

Pencil, tapping.

Cable news talking heads flash silently across the room.

Blah blah blah... debt ceiling... blah Obama

Coffee once steaming, now cold.

Cursor, flashing.

Flashing.

How to make this story interesting?

Interviews?

No.

Researching the effectiveness of citizen patrollers?

No, not that.

Never that.

Just describe the night.

Whatever words come to mind.

Iniquity. Molten. Calisthenics.

This is where the writer types.

There is time yet for a hundred visions and revisions—oh wait.

[Bleep.]

Stream of consciousness.

The silent click of the keyboard.

Shift.

Just write.

They’ll love it.

The moon is rolling its eyes.

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