Friday, October 2, 2009

The Nine Muses

I have made quite a point in my writing about the search for love being a quest to find a muse. I formed this opinion without knowing much about the original nine muses, so it seems only proper that I should learn something about them. I have recently done this (don’t ask me why I waited so long).

The muses were goddesses in Greek mythology who ruled over the arts and sciences. Each gave inspiration to poets and philosophers who studied her subject. More important than the names of the muses are the categories of arts and science over which they ruled. The division of knowledge into nine areas reflects the ancient Greek way of thinking and valuing certain fields. Three of the nine areas are poetry. The Greeks divided poetry into epic, love and sacred poetry. Each had a muse. There was a muse of tragedy, comedy, dance and music. So far, these are all arts -- areas of study in which emotions are equally as important as thoughts or ideas. The remaining muses gave inspiration in the two sciences of history and astronomy.

These nine fields represented knowledge as the Greeks conceived it. There never was a muse of weightlifting or tennis, twittering or blogging, cooking or road trips. This could be why I am having such a time finding a muse of my own. Greeks had to focus their endeavors on one of the acknowledged arts or sciences to win favor with the muses. Why, then, would I expect a release from this requirement in my own search? That’s just the way I am, I guess. And for this reason, my search has failed. Rather than looking for a woman who inspires me to write, lately I have been chasing one who inspires me to wander. All muses would frown on this.

The nine muses were goddesses born of Zeus, the lord of all Greek gods. Their mother was the goddess of memory, Mnemosyne. Muses were gifted with memory because in their time poets and philosophers had no books in which to record their work. They had to rely on memory and this is where muses came to their aid.

The fact that my memory is quite short gives an indication that my search for a muse is at least an appropriate strategy for correcting one of my flaws. My memory could use a lot of help. I seem to forget from infatuation to infatuation that I’ve been here, done this, and made these mistakes before. Only the on-line ID changes. The pattern is the same. I try to make muses out of everyone I meet. Mostly I meet women on line so I have become sort of a world-wide muse abuser.

Anyway, as they say in the recovery programs, it’s a bad habit until you know you have it. After that if you continue to do it, it becomes a character flaw. Awareness brings a higher responsibility and I am called upon now to stop this muse mongering of mine. No more confusing women with goddesses. It just makes the women nervous. I can only guess what the goddesses would think of it. Not much, I suspect. So I’m working on my memory. The thing that muses have in common is good memories. They get this from their mom. I have learned one thing from my travails with women who move me to obsession. When you are obsessed with someone, the best thing to do is become more like the thing for which you admire them. The quality that you find alluring is a quality that you probably lack. And by “you” of, course, I mean me.

These women I pursue represent the missing part of me. I pursue them instead of working on my own deficiencies. That is the crux of the problem. If I could become more pure of heart, more innocent and sincere myself, I wouldn’t find it necessary to move toward someone who has those qualities. And when I gaze at the physical grace of one of my Yoga teachers, who makes Yoga seem like one of the arts, I am looking at my own unrealized potential to become more poised and flexible myself.

In sum, I have found that the real cure for my obsession is to work on my own character. Becoming more well rounded is a goal that can keep you busy for life. In the process, you make yourself more appealing. Becoming better qualified to be the object of someone else’s obsession is better than blindly chasing your own. It will help you stop worshiping shadows on the cave of your elusive dream. That's how I'm spending my time today answering, “What are you doing?”

Thursday, September 17, 2009

First Movie Role

The Bag

I garbage picked it
from a student’s move-out heap
it’s what they wanted

so they put me in
then I made up a story
on how I got it

and they saw through it
so they didn’t like me much
but I was still in

and you can see me
in the Farmer’s Market scene
when it comes to town

“Trivial Pursuits”
my first role in a movie
carrying “The Bag”

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hollywood Basics

Labor Day Lesson

This is what I've learned:
Everyone in Hollywood
thinks they’re really smart...

much smarter than you.
They think they can drop their shorts
and you’ll pick them up.

It doesn’t occur
to people who think they’re smart
that you could fool them.

So, to the Beemer
with vanity plate SCHMOOZER:
Pick up your own shorts.

In front of the gym
where the locker room talk is
Hollywood “scripted”

I do my workouts
among more humble people,
like those in Glendale.

Not so important
to them to be more clever
than people like me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

If I Were Your Shrink

If I were your shrink I would ask you one question.

“How am I different from your father?”

Pondering this question will help you see me (your shrink, and by extension all other men) as individuals rather than players in an improv production of your half-written disowned autobiography. This is what the unexamined life amounts to: a play in which others become the significant others in your life-story-as-novel project without signing on for the role. These things are only my opinion and of course you may take exception but up to now you have never disagreed with anything I have said. Nor have you agreed, remarked, or even responded. Silence can be an answer in itself and some silences echo a quiet murmur of assent, so please consider the question and answer silently if that pleases you. How am I different?

All men would do well to ask the women in their lives this question. “What makes me different from your father?” I pose the question not to gain the attention of women who can answer it, but for the protection of men involved with women who can‘t.

As with any question, the response gives information about the responder as well as about the subject. While it's true that silence fails to leave a question unanswered, there is yet a more vacuous response than silence. That response would be "There is no difference." -- no distinction between shrink and father, or boyfriend and father, or a whole string of displaced aggression victims and the father who deserves it but can never be paid back for neglect and abuse that clouds the eyes of women who then become love's commandos with night vision goggles which overlay the landscape with cross-hairs on the image of Dad, the target. Woe unto the poor man who wanders into that line of fire.

So ask the question, guys. And if there is no answer, or the answer is nothing, then you would do well to start running. The woman who sees only her father in the men she engages is a tiger to run from and keep on running while you still have legs.

If I were your shrink, I would serve these issues to you for lunch, along with...

Vanilla Curry Chicken Salad
Broiled Salmon / Honey Mustard
Ahi Tuna / Sushi Ginger
Turkey Burgers
Asian Mystery Sauce

The doctor is in...

Craft Services

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bird's POV on Tennis

What does the goldfinch
think about when he watches
someone play tennis?

They tweet; they notice.
What do you think they notice?
What does it look like?

Two people beating...
something fluffy and yellow,
that has black markings,

and flies through the air.
Then they stuff the yellow thing
into a closed tube,

And take it away.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cowboy Grief

Tough Loss

When my mother died
I returned to my childhood
I went back to church

That got me crying
And I cried, and cried, and cried
Every time I went

Before the sermon
Even before the singing
I started crying

It was good for me
Some people didn’t get it
But I didn’t stop

I just kept crying
And felt my heart get lighter
I went to graveyards

That made me cry too
I even tended some graves
That looked neglected

I did that for me
To get a sense of purpose
To move on from grief

Now it’s years later
All that crying is over
I don’t go to church

I do something else
I have a room in my house
With nothing in it

And I go in there…

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cowboy Love

Rosey Outlook

She'd had enough grief.
So she made a suggestion.
"Look on the bright side."

He took her advice,
looked through rose-colored glasses.
This is what happened.

Tough Love

I stand at her door,
in the faint light of the dawn.
Who will come out first?

Will it be my foe,
the one I must drive away,
the man she married?

I must stand alert.
If he comes out before her,
there could be a fight.

He would end up dead.
That wouldn't please My True Love
She wouldn't like it.

He fathered her kids.
They have a life together.
He bought her this house.

If she comes out first,
I will have but a moment,
to put her at ease.

To declare myself.
Tell her she is My True Love.
And take her with me.

It isn't easy
being suspended between
love and a death match.

Someone is coming.
The door begins to open.
I take a deep breath.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cowboy Complex

Tough Guy

I am Broken Nose
My shirt says, “Feels Good Alone”
So please don’t bug me

I grew up this way
Without people around me
I healed up this way

I find it peaceful
To be alone with myself
Please understand me

I don’t hate people
I’m just happy by myself
I am Broken Nose

I could knock you out
Then I would be by myself
But I don’t want to

Your nose is not broke
You are happy with people
So I envy you

I like to watch you
When you’re having a good time
To study your ways

Maybe I could learn
How to enjoy a party
If I had a coach

You go and play now

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More About Women


My true love searches
I’ll look for her at Art Fair
I dream about her

I do that a lot
I have this recurring dream
It changes each time

It starts with a gift
She gives me her husband’s pants
But the pants don’t fit

They are much too big
No way can I wear those pants
They still have a tag

I read the label
“If you wear these, I love thee”
But they’re much too big

So I give them back
And then things get really weird
She returns the pants

To where she bought them
She gets all her money back
Now she seems happy

She’s smiling at me
And, of course, now she’s single
That means everything

Monday, July 13, 2009

All About Women


My True Love searches
Even now she looks for me
In art museums

And Yoga classes
Places along the river
That’s where she’ll find me

One day she’ll find me
It will look like I found her
We’ll see each other

Something will happen
I envision it right now
I dwell upon it

I wake up to it
I walk in dreams of that day
She needs to hurry

I want to be found
To be seen for the first time
To be discovered

And still she searches
She seems to know where I go
She works hard at it

She wants me to grow
She wants me to be happy
She wants to feed me

I'm sure she loves me
She doesn't speak her mind though
She just gives me hints

Now I'm in the dark
Sleeping out in the forest
She comes in my dreams

She finds me sleeping
She plants a kiss on my cheek
Leaves a smiley face.