Monday, March 7, 2011

Motivation Mondays: I Need a Better Word for “Muse”

Before the musing, here are some places to read/listen submit, and also some bragging.

**One of my favorite poetry-soulmates, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, was kind enough to include me in her Indiefeed series on the women of performance poetry. Being in my own iTunes queue was a pretty exciting thing to wake up to the other day. The series will be pretty incredible, so if you aren’t subscribed, go there soon! And here’s their submissions page, too! Do it!

**The Legendary is taking (audio and text) submissions for their upcoming Slam & Flash Issue until March 10. Really, you should submit to them every month. They’re the nicest editors in the world.

**Radius is a new journal headed by my Worcester favorites Victor D. Infante and Lea Deschenes. You should submit to there, especially if you write political poetry or like to make up forms like I do.


I’ve decided that I don’t want to call anyone a muse again. It’s such a passive, limiting idea, and it doesn’t do justice what happens when the creative spark crackles between people like a miracle.

Often I’ve called someone a muse because I'm overwhelmed by him or her, as a way of trying to control something uncontrollable. It’s often a way of sublimating desire, which leads to good poems, then bad poems, then tears. “Muses” have sort of shimmered in and out of my life, often because I’ve loved them so much I’ve just gone ahead and alienated them. (I thought about retiring the word “crush” for similar reasons, but, to paraphrase the Fugees, me without a crush is like a beat without a snare.)

So what do you call what really happens when a combination of people becomes a crucible for art? For when you adore another writer on solid ground? For a kindred spirit who makes you brave and light fires underneath you? For the people in your life who are so revolutionary as to make you listen to your own best ideas?

Soulmate is almost right, but not quite. I’ve never bought the idea that we only get one soulmate, per person, per lifetime. The soul is big and it needs a lot of different things.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve always thought this song is about. Pardon the typos in the video-- Gaga’s real video has too many poisonings for a post about love.

No comments:

Post a Comment