Under the Breath

20 May

Poetry was my first written medium of artistic expression and my first muse, a teacher in elementary school. Her love of words became my love of words and I learned to escape into them. As a child, my subjects were innocent and simple, my lines rhythmic and rhymed. As a teenager words exploded out of me. Poem after poem, most quite terrible. Melodramatic angst filled lines with little in the way of figurative language or craft filled my journals, not so much art. One element remained constant though.Poetic language would only come with a muse, someone to spark a flame that smoldered the incense of my soul.

Poems are arriving again but I find muses elusive and transitory. I feel slightly naughty in my literary infidelity. A selfish gleaning fixation creates sensory image and once created, I live in it for days, lost in a word world of sound and sense. My work is better now after years of teaching and study, but I also realize that with every one I write, image will become more defined, a slow focusing gaze that will become more rich and crisp with each line turned.

But what is needed above all is…a muse. Energy. And I’ll confess,  male is best. Men have obsessed over and then had their way with the muse for centuries. So I don’t feel guilty at all rolling in my thoughts, stretching the fabric of possibility until the line between reality and fantasy merge into one. Manipulate my own emotions? dreams? words?

Dangerous?

Maybe…

Regret it?

Not one bit.

When Beloved speaks her love language. . . le belle italiano sussurra la musa .

A simple phrase rises like scented smoke, and then, a fire alights.

sotto voce. . .

sotto voce,
a rosined note
drawn low
across the hollow
of my backbone…
Rising
rung by boned rung
to curl into
the shell and lobe,
whispering
more…
more…
there is always more.

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