“My Muse Is a Heavy Thing”

Part 2 of The Mad Griot Trilogy

My Muse is a heavy thing.

My Muse is
a
fire-breathing
soul-eating
death-greeting
bone-crushing
crucifying
unifying
thing.

She dines on bricks
and
shits stones
and
runs red lights
and
kills old ladies
and babies
at crosswalks
She rides bulls
and leads armies
to the charge
She farts in elevators
Laughs at the wrong
jokes
and cocks her head
at politicking

When I’m on dates
My Muse reaches under the table
grabs my balls
tells me sweetly and sweatily
that I’m with her tonight
And I go home alone
just to prove her right
She batters my head with
word and sound and fury
“Write!”
“Paint!”
“Act!”
“Drum!”
“Shake!”
“Dance!”
“Draw!”
“DO IT ALL!”

I told her once
to beat it
and
she took the words
right out
of my mouth
and rolled them up
and beat me
half to death
with them.

I wouldn’t want to be
in a dark alley alone
with my Muse.
I wouldn’t want to be
in a dark anywhere
alone with my Muse

Which is why
I try
to keep my eyes
open
when she sinks
her talons into my head
but it’s hard
She’s got
no off-
switch
She’s got
no leash
Kryptonite
doesn’t work
She comes
and goes
as she pleases.
“Don’t call us.
“We’ll call you.”
Slams a poem
into me
Thrusts a play
right through me
Smacks me upside
the head
with a dozen stories
And I say
“Thank you, ma’am!
Can I have another?”

Because she burns me up
and I long for her.
She burns me up
and I need her touch
She’s all I got,
My Muse.
My duende goddess
and on nights
when I can take no more
(or tell myself I can take no more
because really,
we can almost always take more)
She curls up next to me
and dreams with me
She is there
in the flesh
as real as any
living person
She is there and in the flesh
and she holds my hand

And all is quiet
for a time

And for a time
I forget

I forget that
my Muse is a heavy thing.
I forget that
my Muse is a
fire-breathing
soul-eating
death-greeting
bone-crushing
crucifying
unifying
thing.

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