. . . is it possible such habits—such things as routine exercise, diet, routine sleep patterns, and so on—can affect not only our ability to imagine but also our ability to write? They must, but—I mean—what if there’s a recipe for good poetry, and it includes things like—50 sit-ups and push-ups daily, preferably before breakfast, which should be comprised of 1 mango and a cup of Greek yogurt, preferably with a drop of honey, and one 8 oz. cup of medium roast coffee, preferably a single-origin bean from Latin America, all of which should be consumed within 12-15 minutes for optimal imaginative prowess, and so on, and so on throughout the day, each ingredient and the ingredients in tandem resulting in a specific mental effect. What if—worse—that recipe is like a baking recipe, which can’t really be fiddled with or you’ll the ruin the cheesecake, the custard, what-have-you. I know there’s a growing science on creativity and on how genes and the environment interact and on how such interaction affects the brain. What if these researchers discover a formula for the muse? The diet-exercise plan for sonnets? The Shakespeare diet? The Billy Collins Diet? The Ashbery Plan? What if the success of your craft was as dependent on the other mental processes as it was on those related to poetry?
Read the rest @ Best American Poetry.