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The Journal of Literary Satire | Hastily Written & Slopilly Edited
Monday, August 2, 2004

My Muse Talks Back

by Thea Atkinson

Sticks and stones, There once was a woman, ’twas the night: all bits of poetry I’m responsible for. Me. The muse. Your muse? Perhaps.

Have you been cranky lately? Feeling a bit discombobulated, shall we say? Then it’s me for sure. Surprise. Bet you didn’t think your muse wore stockings with long, gauzy runs or had to wax her lip. (Damn those stray black wires, they grow way too quickly.)

Well, anyway. Here I am. All six feet of skinny legs and stringy hair. Yours for keeps: for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Oh, stop. It’s not that bad. Look for the silver lining, my dear. At least now you know why all your stuff is crap. Stare the monster in the eye, that’s what I say. Puts hair on your chest. Don’t want hair there? No problem. Puts hair on your lip, then. How do you think I got mine anyway? I wasn’t always a muse; I was a writer once. Killed myself over a story that wouldn’t sell. Long one. Well, a novel really. Bell Jar. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

O.K. So I’m fibbing; I’m not Sylvia’s spirit gone spiteful. But you get the point. A bad muse is still a muse. And lucky you, you’ve got one. Maybe you can put me to use in a product jingle. Give everyone the heebie-jeebies when the damn words get stuck in their brains. Or greeting cards. No. Better: a Hollywood movie. Ever hear of Twister? Rocky? Gone in 60 Seconds?

Yup. You guessed it. I’m their muse too. So buck up; things could have been worse. I could have given you Animal Farm.

Thea Atkinson is a mild-mannered computer instructor, but come evening she slaughters words for fun. While nonfiction pays some of her bills, and teaching pays most, she is passionate about her fiction. If you search long enough you might find her in some neat places both online and in print. She's eternally writing and forever shopping her latest novel. She has a site: http://users.eastlink.ca/~wondershed/. Just don't expect much.