When I suffered for my art,
I didn’t write so much.
I was too busy suffering.

Now that I no longer suffer,
I find that I get a lot more done.

So quit your job if you want,
go live in a freezing cold garret,
subsist on soup and cornflakes,
but you’ll be doing
more freezing and subsisting
than making progress on
the great American novel.

I suggest living in comfort
while your characters wallow
in all kinds of hell.
Eat well. Stay warm.
Keep their sufferings
separate from yours.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.

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