“Reading Advice on Writing from Ernest Hemingway,” by David W. Landrum

Dec 20th, 2019 | By | Category: Poetry

You like his advice because
he was tough—a hunter, deep-sea fisher,
one who had seen war, and not
some namby-pamby academic
who sat behind a desk
all his days and only imagined
what killing, sex, and getting
drunk were like. And you
are dazzled by the way he made
his words come out.
He has amazed you many times
with phrases clear as the water
in the trout streams where he fished,
pure as the good rum
he used to drink in Cuba and Key West.
So when he says, Write one
story about each thing you know
you start composing
about a man who can repair guitars
and there is a beautiful woman
with a tragic past who brings
her Martin D-18 dreadnaught
to you because it makes
a buzzing sound when strummed.
You repair it. She repairs
your damaged soul and you
repair hers too. Then she dies.
You still have the guitar.


David W. Landrum lives and writes in Western Michigan. His poetry has appeared in many publications in the US, UK, Canada, Asia, and Australia. He is also a partially employed adjunct professor and a blues guitarist who performs locally (when he can get gigs).

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