Saturday, May 17, 2014



Claude has a hobby. A project, just like everyone needs, excepting those who are struggling to simply not starve. Not starving is also a project, though, to be sensitive, it must not be called a hobby. Claude likes to write small poems. They are not very good poems. He is not a very good poet. Just the same he enjoys writing his poems very much. He has excellent penmanship and he enjoys watching the words as they come out, one well-crafted letter after another. For a time he even had a muse. A university exchange student from Spain who, on several spectacularly fortunate occasions, had taught Claude new, important, and invigorating things about sex. Claude wrote several hundred poems inspired by this young and beautiful man. (Under no circumstances should ‘inspired’ be considered a synonym for ‘good’.) Then, one day, he made the mistake of asking his muse what he thought of his poems. The muse wrote crisply back. To be frank, he disliked the innate cowardice of fragmentation as well as the museum-ready cliches of Imagism, and when was Claude finally going to write something that might add up, matter, and make money? Claude’s muse was not wrong about anything. Claude was entirely in agreement with his assessment. Claude had a deep and secret desire to matter and add up. Money, too, he would have accepted graciously. Claude understood that his poems were not very good and that he ought to do something else, if only there were something else that he could do. It was also true that Claude felt somewhat sad that he had chosen, as his muse, the kind of It’s-Important-To-Be-Honest mother who does not hesitate to tell her child that, frankly, she has never liked dandelions.

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