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Old 07-09-2018, 04:33 PM
Edward Zuk's Avatar
Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Surrey, Canada
Posts: 641
Default An Affair of the Muse

An Affair of the Muse

When I found out my Muse was having an affair
I refused to believe it at first.
I poured myself a tall glass of beer
and blared the Rolling Stones on the stereo, loud.

After a while I sat down and reread those lines
in the second stanza of my friend’s poem
there on page seven—the lines that I thought
I was destined to write. There could be no doubt.

I confronted my Muse that very night,
jabbing the tell-tale page with my finger.
She glared at me for a bit, then smirked.
As she went to hang up her coat, she sighed:

Oh, I thought you knew about that long ago
but had decided to look the other way.
She laughed at me with that glassy voice
whose polish I had fallen in love with.

But darling, since we’re talking now,
it wasn’t just him. I’ve gotten around.
Really, did you think I’d be satisfied
with those six or seven poems you eke out each year?

Oh, don’t act so hurt. You’re no innocent.
I saw you eyeing Hix’s muse just last week,
and when you mutter Bishop’s name in your sleep
do you think that I don’t hear? Or care?

I took her hand and gazed into her dark eyes
and saw my fury and guilt reflected.

The final two lines were:

I gazed into her eyes with a surprise and guilt
that were as dark as the night, and as endless.

Last edited by Edward Zuk; 07-15-2018 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:13 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,694

Hi Edward, I like this for it's spunk and promiscuous twist; two things that give this surprising intrigue.

I also like the portrayal of a muse that is not faithful to one but plays the field. Or perhaps she views it as a job. She delivers the ultimate humiliation by commenting on the paltry number of poems he "eeks out" a year. That is roughly equivalent to a woman passing harsh judgement on a lover's performance in bed. That hurts! It doesn't really fit my more ethereal, somewhat antiquated view of my own muse (unless you count Nora, my eighth grade heartthrob who broke my heart when I saw her kiss the school crossing guard).

It is well-told with a good amount of irreverence. I would prefer to see the dialog parts in italics in S4L1,2 and then again for S5 & 6 but that seems to be a matter of taste.

It has that angle to it that is reminiscent of an old-time radio show hosted by Paul Harvey when he would end a story by saying, "And now you know the rest of the story"

The final two lines clunk for me. You've done so much up to that point that upsets the paradigm that the end feels incongruent to the rest.

But I like this cautionary tale of a poet and his muse.

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 07-09-2018 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:22 PM
Edward Zuk's Avatar
Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Surrey, Canada
Posts: 641

Hi Jim,

Thanks for weighing in on this. Im glad that you liked it. Your reading touched on most of what Id intended. I wrote this some time ago and posted it because I couldn't decide if its daft in a good way or a bad waythat is, if its irreverent or silly.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:14 AM
Bill Dyes Bill Dyes is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Posts: 414


I think the last two lines try way too hard to bring everything to a tidy dramatic conclusion.
They interfere with the kind of relaxed pace of what comes before them.

Actually, I think, Stanza 5 would be a more natural way to end the poem and I don't mean that Stanza 6 should go away. Maybe just some moving of stanzas or possibly recombination of lines.

But I like this. I like it a lot.

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Old 07-15-2018, 04:49 PM
Edward Zuk's Avatar
Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Surrey, Canada
Posts: 641

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the kind words. The comments that you and Jim made spurred me to revise the final two lines, though Im not sure that this is an improvement. It goes against the zeitgeist, but I dont mind closure in a poemin fact, I often prefer it.
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