In the first quarter of 2012 I was very strict about following my self-imposed rules. As time went by, I got more and more lax.
Sometimes the headling is dull-as-dishwater. I want a snappy title for the poem so instead of taking the title from the headline (as my rules say I should), I use the first line of the poem or I add a word or two. I want the title to entice the viewer into becoming a reader.
True confessions: I occasionally place a line out of it's original order. And I occasionally add a word here or there.
I still follow the rules about 95% (instead of 99.9%), but I have decided it is more important to have a good poem (or a reasonably good poem) than to have strict adherence to the rules.
Sometimes I can follow the rules 100% and produce a great poem. Check out "Disco Nostalgia." It was chosed by "Poetry Breakfast" as the poem of the day on July 8th, chosen from hundreds of other submissions. It was chosen because it was a good poem not because I followed the rules 100%, but because it was a good poem. Here's the link for "Disco Nostalgia."
(Sometimes when I am late with a poem, I use TBD as a placeholder for the date. However, that doesn't allow the eventual real title to be in the url, so I'm not going to do that anymore." Disco Nostaglia is the poem for May 20, 2012. )