by Michael J. Leach
If you asked me to share
just one piece of writing
then I would advise
you not to kill
but, rather, spare
& carry them elsewhere:
carry them all to the base of the highest pinnacle
&, taking extra care not to trip & stumble,
ascend to that pinnacle & raise up each darling—
to the light.
Process note: This poem addresses the commonly dispensed piece of writing advice “kill your darlings”, which has been attributed to many writers. I wrote this poem from the perspective of a writer reflecting on elements of particular written works that were cut out and later used in other pieces of writing.
Michael J. Leach is an academic and writer. His poems reside in literary and scientific journals, such as Cordite, Red Wolf Journal, and Medical Journal of Australia, as well as various anthologies—Still You (Wolf Ridge Press, 2019), One Surviving Poem (ICOE Press, 2019), and No News (Recent Work Press, 2020). Michael’s debut poetry collection is Chronicity (Melbourne Poets Union, 2020). He lives in his hometown of Bendigo, Australia.