The old man’s creation days have long since passed. Says he feels useless as a bucket full of nothing but holes. Every day he still shuffles to his well of invention, but his arms aren’t long enough to reach whatever new is left way down that once splashing shaft. And even if he could reach whatever sloshes down in the dark, by the time he hauled it up all his creation would’ve run through that old bucket. This saddened and perplexed the old man, who judged his worth by what he could create. “I’m done. I’ve no reason to go on,” he said to his muse, who never gave up on her creative old man. “You can, too, still create,” she told him one night in the dark, for this is where they did their best work. “If you can’t reach a shiny new creation, why don’t you create a well-polished old one all over again? There really isn’t anything new anyone pulls from the dark out into the sun.” The old man spent but a minute pondering his Muse’s inspiration, because she always was the smart one, and said, “You know, your favorite’s a squint-eyed look at one of Stafford’s. Over here’s a slant re-telling of Emily.” And so he began to recreate the created. Because this is what poets do until they stumble over the new. And that’s what muses are for -- tossing inspiration out there in front of their old men to stumble over.
Where do I start except top left, since my language runs to the right? But lately my words lack any heft, lack anything since they’re out of sight. Can’t blame the muse, she tries her best. Besides, I’m not one to cast blame. If I can’t write words at her behest, then Her Poet’s a name I can’t claim. And so I write without a thought, nor inspiration I can see. If any sense I’ve herewith caught, I thank my disembodied She. So here it is, some free-write rhymes, Coldplay’s “Fix You” planted the seed. Or was it my muse gave me these lines? Then I got what I want, but not what I need. Maybe someday we’ll meet somewhere, but if not, I do understand. If I’m a bad poet, She doesn’t care, as long as I stay her good man. And yes, this was indeed a free-write poem. I just sat and started writing, since my poetry machine has been in the shop for a few months. I thank my muse and Chris Martin for whatever magic sparked on the page by the time I was what might be “done."
I tried to believe there is no such thing as a muse to incite some kind of art. But now I’m empty and the birds don’t sing, the leaves have all fallen and so’s my heart. I have no words with which a net I’d knit that I might capture your dear heart and soul. And now for two hours I’ve done naught but sit, with a net not made of words, just all hole. But how do I catch what I cannot hold, my hands stuck in these holed pockets so deep? My fingers empty of all but the cold, with no words I can sew, so none shall I reap. Please touch me with a whisper, my muse, old friend. remind my imagination how I’ve been wrong. Together we’ll fill autumn’s trees again, lift my heart, and the birds’ voices in song.
You do know, all I am is make-believe, a lie I tell you I’ve told myself first. It’s not that I started out to deceive, but if I didn’t share these words I’d burst. If I told you stories you’d want to hear, then maybe you might give me a listen. But I made them up, some over a beer. In vino veritas, with Truth missin’. I’m sorry if your feelings I misled, I didn’t start out to sow confusion. It’s not like I tried to get you in bed, though, in truth, that became my delusion. La Belle Dame sans Merci, I beg pardon. My life’s been nothing but isolation. If all I’ve done is your heart to harden, then I’m doomed to even more privation. Without you, this darkness my art confines. But if you once more my attention chanced, let this be the first of my truest lines: My heart and soul you’ve forever entranced. Day 26 of NaPoWriMo. No prompt involved. I just sat and wrote. Unfortunately it came out in rhyme, but at least my imagining and chronicling worked in tandem. Heck, I'm just happy they worked at all. Thank you, my source of inspiration, my wellspring of poetry, ma belle dame sans merci (Thanks John Keats for that, as well.).
If you were but a metaphor, a verbal stand-in in a way, We might understand us some more. Though we are what we are today. Like I’m just a crash test dummy, that’s used to all kinds of abuse. Who cares if I’m feeling crumby if/when I’m strapped in by my muse? I lost an eye to a sonnet, a love poem the Bard might write. Your name I’d never put on it, but if I could hide it I might. They screwed in a new one right here, it’s my head they just can’t replace. These dents and bumps won’t disappear, like this QWERTYUIOP scar on my face. So if you’d be a metaphor, I’d love it if you’d be my heart. Sure, this life will break us some more, but at least not break us apart. On Day 8 of Poem-a-Day April, I opted to write a "metaphor" poem. A sort of meta-metaphor poem. I would've liked to try NaPoWriMo's prompt of writing a kind of Spoon River Anthology-type poem as a deceased character, but I'm sure today it'd hurt people I would never wish to hurt.
I’d love to show you a new picture of me, all happy, sharp-eyed and pleasantly trim. But time and trials and too many carbs make me look in the mirror and say, “Who him?” And so I hide behind once-pretty words, which these days look as bad as me or worse. The old ones made me seem six-foot and fine. The truth’s somewhere between haiku and hearse. Seems all that passion and woes I once used to fashion those prose and poems of mine, also carved their way ‘cross my smooth face, one kind of close to that aforementioned “fine.” I shouldn’t complain. I’ve written a lot. Just got old and s’pose I forgot how to. But if I could remember, I'll tell you what, a young poet would still write about you.
Hello, you, the one who helped me see poetry in my life. Even the strife. I miss what you did, but now you’re gone, life moves on, even when comes the end. Memory, I and thee, together forever on this stage, a white page. Now I’m tired, uninspired. Lost the way, sad to say. So I go. Thank you…. Joe
Oh, how I wish that
you wouldn’t appear
whenever I try
to write something here
where you don’t belong,
and, in fact, bring fear.
Here you are again,
sitting there right now
inspiring these words,
and a grateful bow.
I’d ask you to go,
but I don’t know how.
I know you don’t want
being catch of the day
whenever I cast
for something to say.
But your lure’s too strong
to keep me away.
And that’s the problem.
Boy, don’t I know it!
As a fisherman
I always blow it,
I’ll cast out my line
yet you catch the poet.
I’m used to it now;
I think you are, too.
And so, once again
I’ll give you your due.
As good as I am,
I’m lost without you.
Table for one, that’s what I get
Since we no longer talk, and yet
I’m not alone like other men
Might be in bar, cafe or den,
Since here you see the place I’ve set.
That’s no surprise to you I’ll bet,
Knowing how I would sit and fret,
Even at this lonely, this Zen
Table for one.
Sure, there have been others I’ve met,
whom places in my life I let.
But only you are with me when
My obsession cries through this pen.
Two ink stains we’ll leave at this wet
Table for one.
Has it been five years, or even six,
since we went on that final ride?
I think of it whenever I see that photo
of you and me sleeping, my head
on your shoulder and your patience
on full display. You were my muse.
And even though I’ve stopped
high-stepping over that place
in the carpet where you used to lay,
(I even found myself hurdling shadows
after the carpet was removed)
you have your way of coming back
to inspire some poem I didn’t know
I had within me. Like this morning,
when I found a golden Golden hair
shining in the back of a drawer
while I searched for something
I can’t recall now. It must have been
this poem. You knew I needed you.
You’ll always be my muse, just as I
will always be the man you led
toward art at the end of a leash.
Day 3 of my NaPoWriMo Poem-a-Day April Challenge. Today’s prompt: An animal poem. I’ve been inspired to poetry by plenty of the natural world’s its denizens. But none hold have led me to more of my art than my old dog Mollie. Yeah, it’s not every artist can say he had a high-class blonde inspire his greatest work…and mean it.