Tuesday, March 8, 2011

O Muse, where art thou?

I'm officially in panic mode regarding my thesis. I have a ton of revisions to work on, plus new poems to generate in order to hit the magic number (48) required for me to get my degree. Sure, I could churn out some crap, but I'd know it and my thesis adviser would know it and while I might still get the piece of paper that says Master of Fine Arts on it, I'd feel like a schmuck, a charlatan.

So I'm calling on the powers of the blogosphere to help me summon my muse. Problem: I don't know what he/she/it looks like.

Eustache Le Sueur, "Clio, Euterpe and Thalia," ca. 1640

Is that what muses look like? If so, they need to get off their lazy asses and come inspire me.

Seriously though, as anyone who endeavors in the creative arts can attest, there is nothing more difficult than knowing you have to produce something RIGHT NOW. That's just not how the process works for most of us. I work well under pressure generally, but I can't just barf out a poem on command. If I do, it will be just that: barf.

I wish I knew more about my muse. Right now, I'm trying to read a bunch of poetry (as well as essays about poetry). I need to have poetry on the brain 24-7, to live, breathe, eat, sleep poetry. Poetry, poetry, poetry, salmon.

Shit. It's Restaurant Week in Boston, so I've been working a lot at Lineage, serving lots of salmon and explaining over and over again what duck confit rillette is. Unfortunately, the brain energy I use at work is antithetical to poem-writing. I wish I could say I'm scribbling sonnets on the backs of menus and discarded napkins, but in reality I'm probably thinking more about whether the woman at table 34 really has an allergy to garlic or is just a vampire, or if the couple awkwardly chatting at the bar is on a first Match.com date.

See? This post was supposed to be all about poetry and my muse and somehow, it got co-opted by other things. No wonder my muse wants nothing to do with me.

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