1. IT'S ALIIIIVE! Make *everything* alive. Sighing hearts, weeping skies, smiling trees, warbling coffee tables, all of these are good, and will make your poem both busy and awful. Whee!

2. STOP DROP AND ROLL Use "burning" and all its variations liberally. Burning lips, fiery fingertips, barbecued bosoms--go for it, Sparky, and you'll have one smoking pile-up of a poem.

3. LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN And again and again. Be sure to use antiquated, flowery contractions like "e'er" and "ne'er" as often as possible. Pretend it's 1750 again. Use a quill pen. Die of some extinct plague like cholera. Please. Right now.

4. FORMALITY IS NEXT TO BANALITY Sprinkle your love poem with lots of comically overstuffed words like "dost" and "thee." Wear a hoop skirt or frilled sleeves. Get run over by a horse and carriage. Do it for literature.

5. BEGINNER'S LUCK Forget what you've heard and write about what you don't know. Make it clear you've never so much as held hands, but have decided to compose passionate odes to breathless desire. Or, if you've sampled the entire Boston Symphony Orchestra, write something fluttery and virginal. Go for it! Use your imagination!

6. GO WITH OLD RELIABLE Finally, don't give yourself a headache trying to jam clever words and phrases into your awful love poem. Go with moon/June, love/dove, palpitate/regurgitate and before you know it, you'll be employed by a greeting card company. Good luck, writers!