I am amused, bemused By your rapier wit, And sharp tongue Where complements are calming And condemnations cutting You always keep me on en garde Whether I am Touched or touchéd You make your point With words That delight and damn My pen’s ink
Today at dVerse Dee, aka Whimsygizmo, asks us to takes our cues with muse in the form of a Quadrille, a poem of precisely 44 words, not including the title, and must include the prompt word MUSE.
Here I pay a slight homage to the two muse who fill my pen with prose and poem the most. Calliope and Melpomene.
I have to say the Oxford definition of persistence “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition” has certainly been descriptive of me and my writing of the last few years.
I can either write blog and poems or read blogs and comment on others, not both, but I persist.
I can either write my own fanfiction or read and comment on the works of other’s, not both, but I persist.
I can also paint or draw, but not both. Unfortunately, that particular outlet has fallen – if not necessarily by the wayside, definitely down quite a number of rungs on the ladder, but I persist.
Yet even while I’m in the kitchen making lemon bars from scratch, I’ll be damned if Erato, Calliope, and even Melpomene won’t suddenly spark an idea in my brain that wants to be written down RIGHT NOW. And naturally Polymnia wants a visual of it that my mind can see, but regretfully my talent and patience cannot always procure to my satisfaction, but I persist.
To write or to read or to comment or to paint or to bake or to any of the several creative outlets that I try to enjoy has been both a bane and a blessing. A blessing that I can, to highly varying levels of proficiency by my eyes, do all of the above. A bane, because I cannot do all of the above all at once.
I know! I know! How DARE I be only human!
Only human in a small apartment where one corner of my dining room does double duty as my office when I work remotely and my creative writing station for blogging/poems/story writing, another as my painting crafts station, the third corner a multi-utility station and the fourth corner is my window and closet. Oddly enough what my dining table has not been used for in ages is that thing called you know dining.
Still, I can’t / refuse to call it my studio, because I cannot afford, never mind actually fit a kiln in it to pursue the glass and metal creative work that remains in my head.
Though it’s my fanfiction that gets most of my creative time, sans the items in need of a kiln, I doggedly try to indulge in all of my various creative outlets. Thus why I have chosen persistence as my one not-so-little word for this year.
I’m determined to somehow find a balance where my blog does not suffer as much this year as it has in past couple of years. Let’s see just how persistent I can be.
Take me now; I have need Lexis to which I must heed
Ethereal whisper in my ear Diaphanous sight before my eyes Gossamer touch against my skin
The first preface to our prologue Vellum void of phrase and prose
Let me bathe you in ballad Let me shower you in sestina Let my sweet imagery of nothing Become your metaphor of everything
Let your periphrasis wrap me in symbolisms Let your euphemisms surround me in similes Let our soul be one for the discourse of rhythm for the dialogue of reason, for the diction of rhyme
Let us fall down in the shadow of the valley of meter Let us rise up on the rock of ages and iambs Let us bask in the most of incremental repetition Until only the onomatopoeia of our couplet is left
Diamante drops on parchment and papyrus The final edict to our epilogue
Gossamer touch against my skin Diaphanous sight before my eyes Ethereal whisper in my ear
Lexis to which I must heed Take me now; I have need
dVerse Poets Pub | Poetics: Who’s your Muse?
Today Ingrid tends bar and invites us to choose our muse. I choose Erato, muse of love poetry and lyric poetry to let her sweet whispers scream everything. For when she has need to speak I take heed to listen, and write…
Though often (mis)attibuted to John Lennon, the earliest certain source of the popular quote was by Marthe Troly-Curtin in her novel “Phrynette Married” (1912).
I used this exact opening a couple of weeks ago when I attempted to have a day vegetating. Today I use it response to a complaint.
“God! Every time I call! Why are always writing a story, or working out a poem, or you’re painting something. Pick something, ONE thing and be good, really good, perfect at it. Maybe you could make money off it and stop wasting your time.”
My pithy response: “I write and I paint because I like it and because I have no space for carpentry workshop and a kiln.”
Oh, there was so much to unpack with that loaded statement and her not understanding why I was offended by it.
What is with limiting a person to one form of expression? The whole pick one thing and be good/perfect at it nonsense, is in a word nonsense. Dion Sanders and Bo Jackson excelled in both baseball and football in their heydays. Venus and Serena Williams are both phenomenal tennis players and wonderful clothing designers. Several of Hollywood and UK actors also excel in other creative outlets. It’s Art. You know that thing like beauty is in the eye of? So who determines what’s good or God help us perfect creatively anyway? Who determines its clock value? Is the pursuit of a second passion for pleasure only limited to those those who can afford it? If it’s not making money, it is waste of time?
As I understand it Art students study other art to learn what’s good. Though they both use pointillism, no one is going to confuse a Seurat with a Lichtenstein, but they’re both good. Rembrandt, Warhol, Monet, Max, Michelangelo, Haring, Picasso, Van Gogh, Pollock, are all amazing artists, not one looks like the other and none of them did what they did to be “good.” The artists painted what they wanted, the way they wanted – period. That others cottoned on and made some of them renowned during their lifetimes was a lucky bonus. Some of the names mentioned were not famous, until after their deaths. It likely wasn’t perfect, to some of them. It may not have even been “good” to them, but you know what it was? Good enough to make them happy or they tried again until they were. They did it for they were inspired, because it pleased them. I am 10,000 percent sure someone had said to each them at some point “stop wasting time.”
Why must damn near everything in life sans breathing, and bathroom functions, can only be considered worthy of one’s time if it can also potentially line one’s wallet? Stop that nonsense! Elizabeth Barret Browning, Alex Haley, e.e. cummings, Arthur Conan Doyle, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Octavia Butler, Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, Andrew Wilmot, Amanda Gorman: none of them wrote their very first stories and poems, because they were out to make money, they wrote because they had stories to tell. It just so turned out that eventually others liked the stories as well. The rest is the luck, ill or otherwise, of the draw. But we know their names in the first place solely because they had a story they needed to tell. The story got told. It was not a waste of time.
We blog, and some of have regular followers, but the mass majority of us are not, nor have any intent to be “influencers.” Still, we blog because we have stories to tell, in words or in art or both.
I create because it pleases ME. The moment it becomes something I have to do to make money, it becomes a job. And knowing me – it will no longer be something I enjoy. I create the ways I do because I want to. I’m not trying to be good, I am having fun. That others enjoy it is wonderful, but is never the impetus for me to type out pixels or pick up my pencil or brush. It is always time well spent, even if I hate the result. On the outside I am an adult exuberantly expressing my creativity through mixed media. On the inside I’m a four-year-old happily making a mess scribbling and finger painting. Ask any preschooler…
I’m in a conundrum I can’t recall having ever been in before.
My table easel is with blank canvas is up raring to go. My color palette rests between my and acrylics and watercolors.
So does my sketchpad with its plethora of markers and scores of sharpened colored pencils that lay in wait.
All while cursors blink on three different incomplete stories, a half-begun glosa, and a line for what is free form verse for now, but may become a villanelle, a tritina, an octain or…or…
Not to mention an idea in pieces malingering in Photoshop limbo.
And in the midst of the creative storm is not-so-little, not-so-old, but very frustrated me as I find myself singularly unable to do any one of the above because Muse wants to do each and every single one of the above…
So instead, I slice and see which comes out on top.
Yesterday afternoon, Calliope and Erato went missing.
I was on the main floor about to leave my office building when I realized the two were gone. My right- and left-hand girls were not there! That initial wave of panic set in at the discovery. I blinked looking around stupidly. Of course, they would not be right in front of me, dammit! The girls wouldn’t be lost anymore if they were!
Calliope is a prankster. This will be the second time she’s pulled a disappearing act on me. The first time was bad enough. I thought I was more vigilant, but this time she’s taken her sister with her as well.
Okay Raivenne, breathe, you know the drill.
Step one: retrace my steps. I immediately do an about face, head for the lifts and back to my office. I search the ladies room. They are big girls. Noise would have been made had I dropped them off them there, I innately know this, but still I look. Obviously, I am not surprised to see they are not there. I look to the carpeted floor knowing it for the fruitless labor it will be. Had the girls been seen alone someone would have told me. Pretty much everyone knows those are my girls or knows someone who does know they are mine.
I make my way back to my desk and my work-wife sees my face.
“Calliope and Erato are gone.” I say the words before she can even ask what’s wrong?, all the while hoping beyond hope that by saying them out loud I have not given them veracity.
Calliope has been with me for five over years, Erato has been mine for nearly a year and a half. The two have been near inseparable since Erato joined the family. They have been to Canada, Cuba, Dubai and even Antarctica with me. She understands how I feel.
“Have you dumped y…” She stops speaking seeing I have already begun to do just that as I methodically empty my purse of its contents. I check my trouser pockets, I check my coat pockets. The girls are not there. I know I did not drop them, they are heavy and make noise. Erato once slipped from my finger and I still heard her amidst the din of a crowded street in Manhattan.
“They are gone.” I say forlornly.
She looks at me knowingly, but not having the attachment I do, gives me clarity.
They are not gone, stop looking for the girls and they will appear.
I take a deep breath, put everything back in my bag and head for home.
Because I am the person who occasionally puts things down but does not always remember to pick them back up; especially when in a state. I am patting myself down to make sure I have my metro card and especially my house keys before I get on the subway. As I pat myself down I feel two familiar lumps under my wool coat.
Yes, I checked my purse. Yes, I checked my trousers. Yes, I checked my coat. What I did not check were the pockets of the jacket I wore under my coat.
THAT’S where you two miscreants went!
What? It was completely their fault! No one told them to wind up in the wrong pockets when I took them off as I went to the loo because they love to trap water.
Relieved, I put the girls back on my fingers where they belong, happily text my work-wife of their recovery and finally head home.
Yes, I named my raven head rings Calliope (pink eyes) and Erato (purple eyes) after two muses of poetry from Greek mythology. Calliope is the muse of epic poetry and Erato is the muse of – well, you can guess what kind given her name.
“I believe that inspiration will always try its best to work with you–but if you are not ready or available, it may indeed choose to leave you and to search for a different human collaborator…This is how it comes to pass that one morning you open up the newspaper and discover that somebody else has written your book [or blog post!]…or in any way whatsoever manifested some spark of inspiration that you’d had…but had never entirely cultivated…Therefore, the idea went hunting for a new partner.”
Oh, how much I do believe the truth of this. I posted absolutely nothing between late November and early February. NOTHING.
It’s not that I did not have any ideas. I had plenty. But they all just came at odd times.
Hurrying down the stairs to catch a train.
Hands deep into slicing up meat to make a stew.
In the midst of teaching a class.
In a meeting with my boss.
and so on and so on…
Each time I said to myself things like “I’ll remember”, “I’ll work on it as soon as I finish_____”
Each time it was gone by the time I procured pen and paper. By God do you understand the frustration of knowing you had a great thought, an excellent lyric at the tip of your tongue, but now it’s gone can’t spit it out? I did this one time too many and the dearth of posts between November and February was my muse punishing me.
I have not seen my thoughts ideas elsewhere, at least not any can remember/recognize lol, so at least I felt Muse has not totally given up on me, I just had to bide me time in the purgatory known as writers block. I am happy to say, Muse has decided to give me another chance and I’ve been a busy little these past couple of weeks.
I’m not messing with her again.
Let’s see how others are slicing up their Day Two….
You say I astound and tease you, tell me how?
You have withheld yourself from all that I allow.
Giving baroque words flourish; this you’ve refused to nourish
I have called to you on the veranda on warm spring day
I was the ripple of warmth felt in a snow drift’s pattern sway
Though you held an umbrella drops of me hit you anyway
Yet you’ve discarded all words that I’ve begged for display
Love, what has caused this rift? Why deny yourself my gift?
Know that only for a select few, I share this I’ve given to you
What fear has triumphed so much that you cannot heed
That which for lucky others is the very blood they bleed
I give unto the language of lamentations desperate need
And word the story of a triumph over a dastardly deed
How oft’ you silenced this voice? As though you have choice!
Again you have me in hand, say the words; make them grand
Deny me not, I am your muse, know this passion will last
The days to chase me away is now a thing of the past