The Muse Speaks

Many women live by the maxim “Fall in love with a writer” because they suppose they will then be immortal. I, too, used to find the idea of being a muse attractive and romantic – until I became one. Male writers are frequently selfish, ignoring their muse’s privacy and emotional health for the sake of writing material. I grew frustrated with seeing myself in unwanted words, and began to think about the famous female muses through literary history, and how they were denied voices of their own.

Enough! Enough.

Are not eight double moons

space enough?

Will the bitten Lope suck, angrily,

at his button-holes, evermore?

Or will he turn and flee, like turmeric,

when trodden-on Belisa raises her head

And raises her voice, oh exotic Mooress!

Will not Beatrice blaze on high

though sus-headed Durante

grants no reprieve?

Did never Laura, with her Arabian mane

Spit a sharp couplet, weary of fame?

No! These poets, men, tyrants, all

Care not for those whom they claim to adore

Fame, trifling sweet, fickle friend though she be

Captures their throats from the isle scopuli-

all care is forgotten, love long sailed away

Not a thought more for the onyx and the pearl

that once inked the lines and sanded them dry,

(that once launched the ships and brought down the walls)

No! Glory and fame, the Olympians roar

until – until – the Muse opens her mouth

and takes to the floor.


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