Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Poetic License

Sometimes I worry
that one day I’ll be pulled over
at a book signing by a literary critic…

“May I see your poetic license please, M’am?” he’ll say.
“I know I have it here somewhere” I mutter
as I rummage through my purse.
“I clocked you at 3 clichés per hour, M’am.
I’m afraid I’m going to have to cite you.”
He pulls out a note pad and clicks his pen impatiently.

I retrieve my poetic license, dog-eared and tattered
and hand it to him.
“I’ll just hang on to this for a while.” He says while
scribbling on his note pad.
“I’m recommending a refresher course in creative writing but
until then I’m going to have to revoke your poetic license.”

“Seriously? Just because of a few clichés?” I whimper.
“If it was just the clichés I might let you off with a warning.
But I’ve read your book.
Repeat violations. Ma’m do you truly understand Haiku?
You can’t just take a form and change it to suit yourself.”

“But… isn’t that a form of growth…”
“Don’t banter semantics with me – I could do a lot worse than
revoking your license.”

“Go ahead, critic. Do your worst.” I sneer. “You’ll only drive
poetry underground.”
I grab my books and run for the door.
“No one will ever publish you with an attitude like that.” He yells.

“Ha! The joke’s on you.” I cry over my shoulder.
“No one will publish me now!”


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