What Else Is New?

I’ve got a bookcase with an hundred books

that show me how to make a print from scratch.

And each of them will tell me all the steps

I need to take and yet somehow they each

are failures.  Not a one of them can tell

me how to get inspired, can tell me what

it is my next design’s supposed to be.

I mean they each of them will either say

you’ve got to start with the design

and carve it once you’ve got it on the block

or talk about the elements of good

design.  But how is that supposed to help?

It isn’t any help.  My mind’s a blank.

I know they say that anything will do:

a tree, a bush, a coffee pot, or pills.

And elephants in tutus?  That’s been done.

It doesn’t matter what you draw, they say

if they are saying anything at all.

But mostly they are silent when it comes

to giving me advice that really helps.

So what’s the use of knowing all the steps

when I can’t even do the very first?

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