Friday, February 15, 2008

I Lied

I'm not museless. I speak to the muses daily, but there is no response. I'll even forget their names tomorrow.

Calliope, I love you, but I can't be you. Your songs of deeds force my pen, but instead of Roland, I only grant you Old Gan. If I wrote a thousand cantos, they would be for you. I know you only through the tip of a fist that never belonged to me. Perhaps that's why I chose Gan: I couldn't bear the thought being him, so I tried to change him. It's been too long since I slapped someone in the face with a gauntlet for you; if I did, the only thing I'd notice would be my own pain. My fists never felt good on someone else, but the fists of others seemed to revel in mine.

Clio, if only I could make you, they might understand. I know you like I know myself, but that's not enough. I fantasize for a footnote that clings to my best words.

Erato, I don't know you. I know only how to seek your phantoms through words. You never spoke back to me with truth. I confuse you with Calliope because, in the end, my hundredth canto is in pursuit of you both. I find nothing.

Euterpe, I lost the bucket in which I can't carry a tune. It makes for awkward sentences, like these. My only trace of you lives in my precise line breaks I expect everyone else to find. People in general lost that bucket of mine first.

Melpomene, I exceed excess. Tragedies come out in literature through the excess of virtue. My virtue is endurance, my excess is this. Catharsis should happen with every one of my cantos, but they just seem to elude me: I don't have an imitation of an action. I only have the silence at the other end of my pen and voice.

Polyhymnia, I found you in my Grandmother's margins. Proverbs was a lie, now it isn't. The Song of Songs remains closed, but not of my choice. I read Solomon's words and came away with nothing but rejection when I applied them. When I ask to see my accuser that incurred the wrath of Proverbs, I'm always referred to Melpomene, but that's not in your books. If there is a template to bridging the gap between your words and mine, I would follow. What is a madman to do with scriptures besides seek a flock of pigs that only sing a goat song in tongues I'll never learn?

Terpsichore, I don't dance. Sometimes, I wish I did, but those moments are fleeting. I would end up with a crow's legs and mask to match: who dances with monsters?

Thalia, you're my mask. It's always funny until I say my peace. I make you into hamartia, too. Foul language and a cocky grin are great for laughs, some know that isn't me. They don't call anymore. Most of them never did to begin with.

Urania, my most vivid memories of stars never touch you. Every last point of light is an illusion: those warped perceptions never match the patterns of my peers. The stars that light my imagination haunt my nightmares. I'd point every last one out, but the patches of light to me are blankets of night to others.

1 comment:

Thomas Jackson said...

Calliope: epics
Clio: history
Erato: love
Euterpe: music
Melpomene: tragedy
Polyhymnia: scripture
Terpsichore: dance
Thalia: laughter
Urania: stars