A Writer's Advice to His Son (Two words: "calendar" and "crumb")

Don’t trust the beauty of the poet. The sparkling crumbs she offers, doled out piece by niggling piece, aren’t a sign of discretion but rather proof of a stingy heart. Instead seek a writer of prose, one who ladles out her gifts in dollops. Though what she offers may be more plain, it is also more nourishing and more wholesome than any tawdry bauble tendered by the poet. For the writer of prose apprehends that the well will not run dry, that generosity is not a weakness, that abundance does not diminish what is given, if it is given freely.

See the poet for what she is— a single kiss beneath lambent stars.

See the prose writer for what she is— sticky sheets on a narrow bed, purpling hickies on inner thighs, sweat and semen and menses, a quick fuck while the children sleep.

What are metaphor and simile but pretty lies to dazzle the credulous? The heart is a ball of muscle, not the repository of the soul. Leave poetry to its proper place— adorning gravestones and calendars. Life must be lived in prose.

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