I'm sure this has been covered before, but I'm worried. I'm stuck in a rut of linear narratives with my poetry. Every project, no matter the content seems to settle in a stylized pattern. With certain types of poems this works, but I'm afraid of loosing my voice in the patterns. No matter what I do I can't seem to lose the cadences. I've tried randomly shuffling my music, which usually helps if I get stuck on a project. I've tried no music, (that was about as productive as banging my head against a wall). And it's not that I don't have things to write about, I have that in spades. It's just that when I try and step out of my patterns, the piece I'm working on suddenly feels wrong, as if I've transitioned from classical music to rap. I know it's wrong footed and it almost hurts to try and continue. In that moment the spark of the project dies, its soul seemingly lost. That is true ghost writing. I have a weird knack for fabled narratives, but there is no market for such things. People hear the term narrative poem and they flee. It takes alot to do it well, (I'm doing the one step forward, two steps back method...), and when done properly the results are breathtaking. ie: Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Sir Walter Scott's The Lady of the Lake. These works are almost musical in the fluidity of their verses. This is the poetry I understand. If I can't find the internal rhythm of a piece, it feels like I'm reading against the grain, almost at odds with my own brain. I know what poetry can be, but not necessarily how it has to be. Free form and nonlinear structures are the norm, and dare I say, all the rage these days. It is metaphor and simile, upon metaphor and simile. In many cases I can't discern the writer's true meaning. I don't know if I'm just incapable of reading it correctly or simply to shallow to dive to the depth of thought others have put into a piece. I don't understand the allure. There is no cohesion, no follow through. The metaphoric promises remain unfulfilled and it is at this critical juncture that I go to war with my brain. I hate dangling threads and unanswered questions. I can string a cohesive, metred narrative together as easily as I can breath, but I cannot do anything remotely resembling modern poetry. There is always an underlying metre, rhyme, or rhythm in eveything I do. It is a boon for some of my pieces, but it is becoming a bane, as well. I don't want to be the one trick pony with no clear voice. Am I just too dense to understand how modern poetry works? I know I need to be a bit more versatile in my poetry if I'm going to take it anywhere. So my questions are thus: How do you write a poem in the abstract, away from metre, refrain and form? And secondly, how do you break free of the linear constructs?