Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wishing I Had Time to Woo My Muse

Often when I wake up, I'm making choices about which blog post idea I'll follow.  This morning, I feel a bit blah.  Nothing calls out to me.  I wonder why that is.

I do have to go to the dentist today, so I don't have my usual writing feeling that I have on a Tuesday or a Thursday, of time stretched out before me.  And in 45 minutes, I leave for an exercise class, so my Tuesday wouldn't have been like a Thursday anyway.

I also have some deadlines, which make it difficult for me to feel like my writing time is really mine.  One online class is coming to an end.  I've got some blog posts to deliver.  These responsibilities don't take much time, but when I don't have much time to begin with . . .

I feel a bit of despair.  How can it already be October, and I've submitted no poems to any journals?  Some years, I've had poetry packets ready to go for the Sept. 1 opening date of so many submission seasons.  Not this year.

My despair is a larger despair too.  How can I have spent so many years trying to get my book-length poetry manuscript published and still no luck?

I am sure that part of my blah-ness comes from 6 +  weeks of intense work weeks, and not the kind of work that feeds my creativity.

I have been here before, and I'm sure I'll come to this point in the cycle again.  Here's a poem that I wrote over 10 years ago that captures my feelings--except I'm not at the point where I have the time for wooing just yet.  Insert a sigh here.

I've decided to leave the poem as I wrote it, even though some of the gendered imagery makes me feel strange, especially the idea of a pouting, flouncing, female muse.

Wooing My Muse

It has been so long since I touched
her word soaked skin.
I used to glide so easily along her surface.
Now I worry that my fingers will fumble,
catch on any roughness, ruin the mood
I long to create.

I used to do this dance without even thinking.
Now I can’t take my eyes off my feet.
I count out the beats, trip over my phrasing.
Clumsy, clumsy, clumsy. My cursing inner critic
keeps time far better than I can.
Now I must woo my muse again.
She pouts and flounces, unable to trust
that I’ve really returned. She can’t forgive
me for my betrayals. I have made a mistress
of television, lingered too long
with the words of others, leaving my beloved alone
and abandoned. I leave little gifts,
necklaces made of words strung together,
flowers of phrases,
a candy box of symbols and metaphors,
until I win her heart again.

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