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Friday, February 6, 2015

The Muses (Version One)

my muse is dark as the dawn
my muse is Maxwell House or Folgers
my muse has the smile of a plaster saint
and wears the boots of a dominatrix
my muse drops the F-bomb and smokes Lucky Strikes
my muse's joie de vivre has a deathwish
my muse's savoir faire is in the shop for repairs
my muse is hotter than Tabasco sauce
my muse is five below zero in February
my muse is the unkempt curl of Walt Whitman's beard
my muse is the bare toes of Tracy Chapman
my muse is New Mexico sky is Arizona desert
my muse is the bullied lesbian teen
is the kid picked last in gym class
my muse is sexy like a silver ankle bracelet
my muse is as chaste as newfallen snow
my muse is Uncle Willie in The Philadelphia Story

your muse is a politician a salesman a sloganeer
I do not trust his new-and-improved personality
I'm not a fan of his synthetic smile
your muse is the Proud Pharisee mine is the publican
your muse is the glossy magazines
mine is a bootleg recording of the Replacements circa 1985
your muse walks the red carpet in Vera Wang
my muse sleeps on a grate behind the Boston Public Library
your muse knows all the answers to all the important questions
my muse is a drunken knuckleballer bouncing from club to club
your muse is the straight-A student the homecoming queen
your muse is a prayer warrior
your muse is a model for Abercrombie & Fitch
my muse is incorrigible a bad example
my muse is maladjusted
my muse is a mendicant of mercy on the outskirts of grace
your muse has a snappy comeback at the book-release party
my muse frankly doesn't know which way is up

The Muses (Version Two)

My muse drinks from a twelve-ounce mug;
My muse lies prostrate on the rug.
My muse smokes cigarettes (no filter!);
My muse is always out-of-kilter.
In spiky heels and five-foot-seven,
She swears like hell and looks like heaven.
My muse has such a winsome air!
Her leaky roof needs some repair.
My muse is bitchin', like a boss.
My muse is hot Tabasco sauce.
My muse curls up like Whitman's beard;
Her morning fog has almost cleared.
My muse is lonely as a rose;
My muse is Tracy Chapman's toes.

Your muse sells snake-oil on the tube
To housewife and to clueless rube.
Your muse is out to win elections,
And claims his smile cures infections;
Your muse possesses plastic grace,
A handsome, bland, and blue-eyed face.
Your muse is not the likes of me:
He's something of a Pharisee.
Your muse has healthy cheeks of tan,
Is every woman's favourite man.
Your muse looks like a millionaire,
New-and-improved, and debonair.
Your muse can influence the folks
And is adept at witty jokes.

My muse hangs out in seedy bars;
My muse plays out-of-tune guitars.
My muse is stumbling down the street
With woozy head, unsteady feet;
My muse was once a charming girl!
Before she rode the Tilt-a-Whirl,
She had an ounce of self-respect,
But now she's irredeemably wrecked.
Destined she was for lasting fame;
Now, everybody knows her shame.
Her sins are infamous and scarlet,
A sister to the brazen harlot.

But still, I think I'd rather live
With her abjectness than to give
The time of day to those who see
Creation as commodity.

Out for My Walk

Arlington, Massachusetts, 5.15 am, first morning of summer --- air cool and dewy: sprinklers, sparrows, squirrels; a wide-awake rabbit o...