Gemini Magazine
Dan Sklar teaches writing at Endicott
College. He is the author of two books of
poetry: Hack Writer, and Bicycles,
Canoes, Drums. Recent publications
include the Harvard Review, New York
Quarterly, Ibbetson Street Press, and
The Art of the One-Act.
by Dan Sklar
Whatever you were doing
why don’t you do
something else
No matter what it was
something else
was always better  
You’re not going to cry
about it or anything now
You’re just stating
the facts of the matter  
No matter what you were
doing it was no good
what good is acting in
plays—imagination is
for other people
art is for other people.
Something else is better  
that’s just how it was
when you were a kid
and when you went
to college another one
was better—transfer
Don’t be an artist
or actor
or writer
or teacher.  
There’s no money
in those things.
Do something else
Be something else  
You can’t do what
comes naturally to you
what you want to do
because what you want
to do is not about how
to make money.
In 1958
in Greenwich Village
you saw a beatnik
and your father said
that’s a beatnik.