To Geoffrey Chaucer

I wish I could get your advice
on how to write this second book. I give myself directives
to stay on the subject, to expand,
but the words clot into jelly, or just will not be
whistled up at my command.

Translator, astronomer, courtier, diplomat,
you were a renaissance man
before the Renaissance was a thing. I teach creative writing
and am a monoglot.
All the books that I should’ve read in college and did not
beam out to me from my bookshelves
their chorus of reproach.