I Heart Muse
for Susann Foster Brown
Call out for lack of a calling, for the ease
or the chore of it, the unsolicited ache.
For all those at-rest, settled-in, and all those
who've been x'd out, deleted from text--
cast to space’s many recesses but soon restored
to the streets slickened with traffic and rain,
the trapped air of the factories, let in late,
tallied unto the rest with their rarest of intent.
And call out from the chest--all that it shelters
and teaches us, whether carol or chant,
the unorchestrated, whether clichéd or ill-dealt,
rich in secrets. Call out if you have the ear,
inclination, all is near-sacred. From the shore
where we’ll resort to the odes of those past,
or those trees where we’ll cheat towards a star’s
wavering artistry. Crane your heads, no note parts.
My Muse Struggles to Get Out of the 19th Century
Outside, I’d tout our routine again—
an anonymous host stowed away
in my ear, ever informing me of the earth’s
undying worth, in-demand sort of theater—
here, its dewy eyed reasonings
there, its seas taking measure of shorelines
seeming to free me up from life’s come-ons, defilements
for more mark downs and blank reassurances
while inside, they’d sold me complete with a chair
where I lowered myself to the ceaselessly dreamt
reaching after these ghosts of ideas
of no use but to ease out of, amuse myself
what little is left of me—these most unreal memories
won’t let itself be addressed by any of the light
or suggest any of what night has restaged
it so as not to be noticeably felt
but to only be, listen up! Noted as
artlessly mad and insistent on drama
thrown together from worry and doubt
made to draw the word out, order
My Muse Paints My Portrait
It makes do with black and white.
And a red so bright it’s called “Chagall’s First Kiss.”
It can’t tell where I end and my dream begins.
All I know is there are goats and they are sailing.
Light is like that, they say. Less about what it’s
felt for you. More, what is still left of it by nightfall.
While My Muse Will Remain the Sea’s
till eternity’s ever-rumored return,
she’ll still only outlast the land
and its unyielding rulings,
all those hills fired red
and the shore’s
so engrained in her stereo-memory,
dreaming of an air rid of the slightest
of night’s miry chill or gentlest rain,
in order that she’ll stay re-married,
somewhat true to that ideal,
her arms parting
with yet one more sea,
her legs, once again, starting out
from one long-held desire.