Inspirational Inadequacy

An author breathes within the book before
Me, holding forth upon his mistress, Art.
She rides upon his words into my heart,
Inspiring me to try my hand once more.

Expecting muse caress, I feel a door
Slam harshly.  My inadequacies start
To show, as inspirations now depart
And settle with the dust upon the floor.

“It’s not supposed to be that easy, kid,”
The author says.  “We have to face our fears.
The essence of the Art is in the pain,
The struggle to express the feelings hid
Beneath our hearts and in between our ears.
So pick that pencil up and try again.”

— Stace Johnson, 2000

Muse Abuse

Muse Abuse

You say we’re put on this Earth to amuse
ourselves; to summon an indulgent Muse
to teach us to write and sing
words of little meaning.

I think I was put on this Earth to abuse
myself; to invoke an impatient Muse
to dismiss me, silently calling
me a love-starved Sisyphus striving.

— Stace Johnson, 1986