Just one!
I begged the Muse.

You again?
Always the same

If you want the line,

you’ll have to earn it.

Write about something
besides younger men,

Muse said.
Think of Elizabeth Bishop,

who spent twenty years
on “The Moose.”

No! I won’t!
Too late. I was already

minding my


Related Poems

The Contrary Muse

Poet (kneels stiffly):
I beg you, Muse, come down, come down and redeem me! 
You used to arrive any time, you would come for no reason.
Now, though the sweat of death stood on my forehead,
No song would be shaken.
I pay no heed to prayers or to reproaches.
I bless those who burn, but they must not burn only for me.
Turn your passion elsewhere. Then, when least you remember
My touch, I may touch you.

Eating the Cookies

The cousin from Maine, knowing
about her diverticulitis, let out the nuts,
so the cookies weren’t entirely to my taste,
but they were good enough; yes, good enough.

Each time I emptied a drawer or shelf
I permitted myself to eat one.
I cleared the closet of silk caftans
that slipped easily from clattering hangers,
and from the bureau I took her nightgowns
and sweaters, financial documents
neatly cinctured in long gray envelopes,
and the hairnets and peppermints she’d tucked among
Lucite frames abounding with great-grandchildren,
solemn in their Christmas finery.

Finally the drawers were empty,
the bags full, and the largest cookie,
which I had saved for last, lay
solitary in the tin with a nimbus
of crumbs around it. There would be no more
parcels from Portland. I took it up
and sniffed it, and before eating it,
pressed it against my forehead, because
it seemed like the next thing to do.

Sexy poem to cover my bases

I think a lot about the character everybody wanted to put babies inside of
a lot about cracked statues recovered satellites

I think a lot about voyager
I think a lot about gold
I think a lot about that thing the fork is going into

Are you ever the thing the fork is going into?
Are you ever driving through cotton fields at night
and everything around you is a pillow?

What words are you whispering into my pillow?
What words cast the spell that puts the babies inside of me?
What words make the moon just something good to look at but no place to go?

If I’m looking at my window and hear the hawk, is that the signal?
I think a lot about the longer my hair grows, the farther you are
about your face in my hair

I think a lot about becoming a pill you can swallow
I think a lot about growing my hair into a tent