Many times in writing we confuse the facts of how something actually happened in real life with the facts that are beginning to emerge within the equally real life of the poem being written. The facts of the poem, though, owe nothing to the facts of real life. In other words, what happened in one's real life is of little consequence to the poem unless it can prove something essential about itself and our relationship to it within the poem. The poem is not a rendering of real life, though it may reflect aspects of real life. Instead, the facts of the poem are imagined and therefore extend and explore their own need for being. Understanding this premise gives the facts over to being moldable, gives them over to an awareness of the variable elements of which they are composed and can be composed. We should write not toward what is or what was but toward what could be.
With this understanding in mind, write about an incident from your own life. Our childhoods are literally filled with thousands of seemingly irrelevant incidents. For instance, I could write about catching little black catfish in a Solo plastic cup while wading in Horse creek. I could write about sitting out in the yard and telling jokes to my grandmother when I was in kindergarten. I could write about the time my brother (maybe six at the time?) wandered away from home and we finally found him a few blocks away, fishing in the Tennessee River. Choose an incident from your life and dramatize it, but do not feel bound to replaying the event as it actually happened. Exaggerate, fudge, improvise, imagine and re-imagine. Follow the poem's need for being and for being found, discovered. Doing so, you may find that you are obsessed with attaining something greater than the facts.