How to Write a Poem from Inside Another Person’s Skin


Sound icky?
It’s tricky,
really. Hard enough
to grab that pen with
your own hand, stand
tall, sans serif, and spill
your heart to snow. But
to blow open someone
else’s vein, strain some
other sting into song?

Let’s begin.
Strong, first you must peel
yourself to center, let the petals
flow, go where they may. Clip your
tongue to hold your own words
at bay, and listen long for a
distant sorrow’s sigh.

Put on weird
shoes, and lose your fear
– fling it far and wide and
steer yourself down a road
you’ve never been. Go barefoot
if you must, trust the dust to
guide you past the stranger
scars. The stars know nothing
of outward hue, dark or light
or restless. Recognize their
shine? We’re not all that
different really, if you plunge
deep enough into rhyme and


Written for Poetic Asides.





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3 Responses to How to Write a Poem from Inside Another Person’s Skin

  1. Miss Moody says:

    “Listen long for a distant sorrow’s sigh.” Wow. So hauntingly beautiful.

  2. Sarah Ann says:

    Love the idea behind this and such wonderful imagery – peeling to the centre and clipping of tongues.

  3. First, I like the shape – of some other person! This is great advice. And you are right, it’s not always easy to slip into someone else’s skin, to really and truly know their sorrow, their pain.
    I like the part about clipping your tongue – putting on weird shoes – stranger scars.
    Funny, today I was looking at a woman’s shoes – they were very pointy and very colorful and matched her sweater — and I was trying to imagine what it would be like to put those shoes on (even though they don’t appeal to me at all). There’s something about that, though, that really does get to the “rind” – the center, of what you have to do to understand someone else.

Use your words.

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