Georgia Bellas, "On Becoming a Poet-Thief," January 10, 2017


Easy Hypnosis for Poets

Sit down and relax. Take a deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. You’re getting sleepy, very sleepy. Your eyes are heavy, so heavy. Your eyes are closing, closing. Your eyes are closed. I’m going to slowly count to three and when I reach three you will open your eyes and read the where, when, and how below. You will then steal poems. You will not stop. Your mission is to be a poet-thief. You will not remember these instructions, only the need and desire for poems. Seek poems. Gather poems. Distribute poems. One…two…THREE...

Where To Steal Your Poems

From every baby you meet
From leaves drifting in slow swirls
From your friends’ dreams
From toenail clippings
From your mom’s button jar
From the rumblings of your tummy
From a spoonful of honey
From the dictionary
From hair in the bathtub drain
From a snow globe that you’ve just shaken
From the sound of rain on the roof of your car in a grocery store parking lot
From bees humming
From pocketfuls of rocks gathered at the beach that you curl your fingers around while looking out the window

When To Steal Your Poems

When the moon is caught in the branches of a tree
When your refrigerator is empty of pickles
When you wake from a dream and your heart is pounding
When someone asks you what you do for a living
When trees are covered in ice and you can see your breath in the air
When chicks peck their way out of eggs in a kindergarten classroom incubator
When you blow out all your birthday candles
When you see a dead deer on the side of the road
When your neighbor sets off Roman candles by the woods at the end of your street
Every time the sun rises and sets, even when you can’t see it
When you read the news and weep
When you’ve lost all hope
When you bleed

How To Steal Your Poems

By walking in a cemetery, studying the headstones, and rubbing your fingertips over the names
By licking an ice cream cone while digging your toes in lakewater mud
By flying a kite and failing, failing, failing until one perfect moment when it lifts and hangs, suspended
By ringing your bicycle bell again and again and again
Through remembering
Through acts of resistance, small and tall
With your heart in your teeth
With open palms
With shoulders heavy with worry, with care
Carefully
Carelessly
Ceaselessly
Any way you can.


Georgia Bellas is a writer, artist, and filmmaker. You can follow her teddy bear, host of the award-winning weekly Internet radio show "Mr. Bear's Violet Hour Saloon," on Twitter @MrBearStumpy.

Read Georgia's poem, "I Will Google You Forever."

Photo credit: Dan Nielsen

Photo credit: Dan Nielsen