“Write until it makes sense” has always been something that’s worked well for me. On one hand, it’s a pretty decent free-writing strategy to get you out of the ever-present and nagging rut of not knowing where to begin. Keep your mind blank and throw down line after line without worrying too much about it until you catch a flicker of something cohesive. Then fixate on it, and follow the trail to what hopefully ends up being a poem.
But this idea also works in a bit of a therapeutic way – fixating on any one strong emotion or point of turmoil tugging at you and putting it down on the page until you’ve been firmly acquainted with it. People don’t speak to themselves often enough – this is one way to do it. Of course, with this, you also have to accept that there will be instances where things don’t get any clearer when you sit down once and try to have a conversation with your own demons. It’s just a sign that we’re a little more complex than we give ourselves credit for, and we can’t understand everything – especially ourselves – right away.