Well, I always like to give others the benefit of my experience...
1. Never write a poem about being middle-aged. No one will take you seriously.
2. Establish in people’s minds that you are three-quarters of the way down your poetic career path, even if you have no idea what, or where, that is.
3. You must allude to contemporary song lyrics at least four times per collection. And once per conversation. This doesn’t mean you actually have to listen to music.
4. Abstain from alcohol, but take every opportunity to mention how heavily you drank the night before.
5. No matter how old you become, your bio photo must have been taken when you were under thirty-five. Or use someone else’s photo.
6. If you are married, refer to your spouse as your ‘partner’ and talk uninhibitedly about your love life.
7. If you are unattached, sleep around. Or at least say you’re sleeping around. If you repeat anything, people will believe it. Cultivate an ambiguous sexuality.
8. Invent stories about how a poem got you laid. Never tell exactly the same story twice. Even better, write a poem about how a poem got you laid. Have it translated into a dozen languages.
9. Joke often about loose-fitting pullovers, bald patches/stretch-marks, and dieting. Never write poems on these subjects.
10. Cultivate two accents for podcasts and performances: ‘smart-arse cockney’ and ‘Hollywood movie-trailer’. But use only one per occasion.
11. If you catch yourself opening a supermarket magazine, you must purchase a violent video game and play it until you drive your fist through the computer screen.
12. Never use the word ‘crisis’ of yourself. But use it liberally to describe friends of a similar age, especially other poets.
13. When referring to your ‘contemporaries’, include only poets at least a decade younger than yourself.
14. Refer to the strong influence of da da and the early 20th century Russian avant-garde on your work. Shake your head at the mere mention of ‘concrete poetry’. Wear dark glasses in bars and cafés.
15. Never choose clothes or sport a hairstyle corresponding to the decade in which you felt happiest. Unless that time is now. Which it won’t be.