Friday, April 11, 2014

Conversations With My Muse

“You are the embodiment of the information you choose to accept and act upon. To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking and subsequent actions.” 

- Adlin Sinclair

Well, it's something interesting to have to warn the people new to your life & writing that "it's not about you." Yet I find that it's now a necessary precaution. As an artist that creates something that isn't real you often have to reassure the people in your life that there's a part of you that doesn't play by the rules but it's not personal. That, yes, you the creative [the writer, the artist - painter, sculptor, poet, comedian, photographer, etc.] may take quirks, ticks, eccentricities and stories when they are given to you but it isn't about them. No, not everything. Some things are not for public consumption. It's amazing how love and compassion for another human being will stay your hand. It does, though. 

So what makes you create? Your inspiration? I'm addressing what most artists have... A muse.  A person, thing, music, etc. that sets forth their creative process. Something I personally do not discuss often is my inner muse. That thing inside my mind that urges me forward with an idea. It's something I locked away a while back. Why? I couldn't control it. It was overwhelming. While someone's courage has inspired me to free mine, I can't help but wonder as I let it loose: will I lose balance again? Will I let the thoughts of others shape and mold what the inner monologue of my muse encourages me to write? Time will tell. 

I hate to preface pieces with a "here's what it's about" but this one is about conversations with one's muse. It's a fun piece that I gave a freudian twist thinking at the time it would be quite harmless. In hindsight: Nothing is harmless without a warning label. Even then it's still up to a person to take it in and make it about themselves...???

Do you have a muse? 

Kisses, m. 

orange 22 c/o


Here she comes around again… Tiptoeing into the back of my mind when she enters the room. I’m alone tonight. Except for emma.

Quietly she whispers into my ear.

“Let it breathe. The thoughts that fill your mind. Savor it. Enjoy the kill. You know how disappointed you can get when you forget to give in to the rhythm of it all.”

She always does this. Circles around me after entering the room. Leaning in and observing my thoughts with little effort but every time she never fails to diagnose the problem accurately. Tonight is different. I flip the pages shut when she leans in for a kiss and whispers.

Fingers slide in and out of the wire of the chair and I can feel her frustration. Slowly the tiny digits move upward toward my head. Through my hair and reaching down to my neckline. Up and down they slide, gripping around my neck before moving down to my shoulders. I tense up and flinch to shake free. She reacts with a jerk. Wounded like a child she waits before leaning in again. But nevertheless she does. Hands grip tighter around my neck. Locked. Her breath kisses my face while she leans in further to let her tongue glide along my earlobe. She bites and releases.

“Stop hiding behind that mask!” she speaks quietly in a hiss that persists into my ears.

Her anger precedes her. “You’re so in LOVE with your problems.” Words like knives stick into my heart.

A wave of panic sends my heart racing as I spin my chair around to face her. Chest continues to heave uncontrollably while emma slinks over to the bar and continues her rant. “You haven’t written anything in over a month.”

She pauses briefly to pour a glass of Rouge before resuming her rant.

“All of this?” A wave of her beautifully slender arm graces the atmosphere. “Listen to me! All of this has been produced. You are merely coasting on what has already been. There is nothing new. You know it and SO… DO… I!”

She steps around the bar and back towards my work space.

I’m completely speechless as emma crosses the room. She wants to kiss me. We aren’t in agreement so there’s no passion. I despise her, she loves me. I want to tear her face off, she wants to embrace and inspire me. I can feel her rage as she leans over my body across my shoulder to see the empty page.

“Honestly, how can you expect me to continue to show up?” she touches my face and kisses my neck while her fingers run through my long hair. “Look gorgeous, inspiration is standing right in front of you. It’s time to do something about it.”

Quietly I sip at my Merlot and take another puff at my cigar. emma is right, she’s rarely ever wrong. I’m a capable woman yet here I am at 3am holed up with my problems instead of making love to my beautiful muse and producing work inspired by her captivating presence.

Then again she’s grown quite arrogant and I’m tired of these childish games. The coming and goings at all hours is a wear on my patience.

“You think just because you show up, I can instantly turn it on.” My psyche is not ruled by a light switch. “Simply yelling ‘POOF!’ will not make it happen.” emma walks away the moment my voice raises.

But what answer can there be? I’m alone drinking night after night and there she appears and assumes that it’s best to work because she’s in the mood. Well tonight I’m not feeling it. “Shut the fuck up.” I toss an empty bottle in her direction.

“What the fuck?!” She screams and brings down her glass with a slam. The glass shatters and I’m stunned at her reaction.

What the fuck, indeed. I’m alone. Drinking. Yelling… at my muse!

Mentally this is the point she checks out. Tonight is different though. She wants my throat. I want her death. We are equally in contempt for each other.

Across the room it flies. A bottle of red wine zipping past my face. “You’re wasting your time and good wine. You missed my face you stupid bitch! Quit.”

Bottle after bottle hits the wall behind me. Red splashes across the white. Blank canvas coated in a watery mess.

“Ha ha ha! I see red!” She shrieks in sheer delight from across the room before tossing the bottle of Chianti at my head.

Typically she mentally checks out when it gets too rough. Not tonight. She’s in it to win. Whatever could she be after? I’m certainly not inspired by this tantrum. But it is entertaining. I quite enjoy her fits on occasion. This one seems like it is almost over.

“REVEAL YOURSELF! Tell the truth.” She yells at me in a giggling yet taunting arrogance.

“What ever do you mean by all of this? No one is the enemy. We are in agreement.” Although we are not I say the words to pacify her. Halfheartedly I toss aside my glass and start over towards emma.

She is standing still with a bottle raised over her head. There’s still anger in her eyes and she speaks calmly despite her hostile stance.

“I’ve given you countless opportunities to confess. Say it. I need you to admit it.”

“Admit what?”

“Why silly that you’re a fraud, of course.” She opens her bright red lips wide to reveal her white teeth as a laugh grows from her belly. Down lowers the bottle during this hysterical laughter until it lands on the floor in a shatter. The red liquid sprays across her bare legs and coats the hardwood floor.

On and on pours out the laughter. Until I finally edge close enough to put my hands around her waist. She stops smiling and looks at me. I kiss her forehead and lean against her face. Then I begin.

“Honey, please sit down. Talk with me. What are you thinking?” I motion toward the nearest chairs. She stiffens but does not jerk away.

“Take off the mask with me. You know I can still see you with it on.”

“Fine. Why am I a fraud? Is this about the work again? We’ve been through this far too many times. In the end I will win. There are no masks concealing anyone.” I tighten my grip around her waist and shove her toward the chair. I’m tired of this silly shit. I need to work and I’m hardly up for these antics.

“Liar. Without me there would be no work. I’m everything…”

emma shows up everything does seem to move better, but that’s hardly inspiration. She’s unreliable, unreasonable and I’m going to kill her. I wrap my hands around her throat and squeeze.

“Stop. Who’s lying now? You can’t prove that. I was spinning thousands of tales before you showed up.” Tighter my hands lock in. She reaches up and grabs my waist and pulls me down.

“But nothing was worth a penny before me. And… you know it. Admit it.” She bites at the skin on the inside of my arm. Red smears across the whiteness of my skin. “Are you going to do it or not?” Afraid? Maybe I’m right and all of it goes...”

Let loose. Back flies my hand and strikes her face. For some reason punishing her hurts me. I wince at the pain my slap causes her.

“You do it and I’ll take it all with me.” She plays extortionist better than she plays lover. Lips keep kissing and biting at my elbow between words. Hands and fingers are unbuttoning my shirt and pulling at my skin. She wants more but I loathe her.

“I don’t care. Die!”

I wrap both hands around her neck and start in. Her arms reach out to pull mine away and find no match for the anger that is in my grip. Eyes open wider and wider. She looks like a blow up doll with her mouth wide open and eyes popped out. Click. Click. Click. Sounds like a clock escape out of her dry mouth. Legs raised and heels flailing. Slowly energy drains from her body. I can feel the struggle gently fading away. Her face drops aside without lines and I let go.

Sitting down I look over at her unmoving shell and wait. Wait for the animation of life to take hold again. Can I create without her? I don’t know. I’m in love with her, but I can not tolerate this abuse. She’s always like this but tonight is different. No one walks away. Not even I.

And I’m inspired. That makes this scenario almost worse than before. Is it there because of what I’ve done or is it just there like a light that has been turned on? She’s beautiful when she’s silent. Bright red lips spread wide open. Still. I place my head in my hands and feel like sobbing. But I can’t there are words. Oh so many words flowing and pouring into my empty head.

Two hands wrap around my waist and slide up around my breasts. Breath crawls around my neck as a face leans against my shoulder. “Did you like that?”

“Is that how you plan on handling things from now on?” I reach over and touch her cheek. She leans in to kiss me.

“I gave you what you needed. It’s what you were afraid of. You know…”

“Losing you. My inspiration. Without you what would there be? What will come next?”

“Don’t worry about that. Come to bed.” She releases her hold and gets up. Walking away quietly she begins disrobing. emma is always like this when she returns. I never know what the timing will bring. Only that it will come.

“I have a few things to…”

Quietly she whispers in my ear.

“I know… let it out. Give into the rhythm. Dance. Let these thoughts and feelings reveal themselves. Don’t hold back. Savor. Enjoy. Come when you’re ready.”

And there she goes again… Tiptoeing out of the room, her presence remaining in the back of my mind.

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