The Muse Speaks

I audited a 300-level creative writing class at USI last fall. Loved the class. At first, though, I was dismayed to learn that half the course would be dedicated to poetry.

Ick. I have never been interested in poetry. Sure didn’t want to write any.

It took me ten minutes to get over that. Poetry is a great foundation for any type of writing. You learn to squeeze your idea down to its very essence and deliver it with all the authority you are able to summon. And you typically try to do that in a fairly tight space.

Good practice.

So, we had a class assignment near the end of the first half. Read a book of poetry, do a presentation, write a piece inspired by the work of the selected author.

The poet I drew for the task is a young lady with a quirky style. She uses language in a way that reminds me of Lewis Carroll. She sometimes runs ideas across stanzas. I read four poems, and I wrote this.


I woke thinking about the medlock relay
wondering what that might be
then knew my thoughts were deflected
by a poem stuck there

The arrow nocked and released
by a lady who tells us she has
curves slanting off
in unexpected directions

The words oddly tasting
matter-sweet from some damp
oven, hinting at a kitchen just
beyond a door

Too dark, I meandered, to enter without
hesitation, hanging a little off the
hinges, enough to be fascinating,
I wondered

If I met her, a younger me, at some
gathering, alabaster skin glowing in the
corner, drawing me into her slippery
web, would I

Try to kiss her, or after a few minutes,
draw back thinking, better not chance
that call, at two A.M. when she threatens
to throw herself out a window


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