now, if you were teaching creative writing, he asked,
what would you tell them?

     I'd tell them to have an unhappy love
     affair, hemorrhoids, bad teeth
     and to drink cheap wine,
     avoid opera and golf and chess,
     to keep switching the head of their
     bed from wall to wall
     and then I'd tell them to have
     another unhappy love affair
     and never to use a silk typewriter
     avoid family picnics
     or being photographed in a rose
     read Hemingway only once,
     skip Faulkner
     ignore Gogol
     stare at photos of Gertrude Stein
     and read Sherwood Anderson in bed
     while eating Ritz crackers,
     realize that people who keep
     talking about sexual liberation
     are more frightened than you are.
     listen to E. Power Biggs work the
     organ on your radio while you're
     rolling Bull Durham in the dark
     in a strange town
     with one day left on the rent
     after having given up
     friends, relatives and jobs.
     never consider yourself superior and/
     or fair
     and never try to be.
     have another unhappy love affair.
     watch a fly on a summer curtain.
     never try to succeed.
     don't shoot pool.
     be righteously angry when you
     find your car has a flat tire.
     take vitamins but don't lift weights or jog.
     then after all this
     reverse the procedure.
     have a good love affair.
     and the thing
     you might learn
     is that nobody knows anything---
     not the State, nor the mice
     the garden hose or the North Star.
     and if you ever catch me
     teaching a creative writing class
     and you read this back to me
     I'll give you a straight A
     right up the pickle

fra "Love is a dog from Hell"