one day i’d had it! i wrestled my Muse
to the ground, ordered her to strip,
to walk like a dog and bark,
to fetch my shoes, to roll over,
told her she could sit, stay, do anything
but play dead. i never knew i could
order a muse around like that, and she’d blush
at the debasement, get so attached
she’d lie on a pillow at my feet
and await every word she inspired.
turns out i had it all wrong.
like all the other hacks i thought
i had to do the begging, the rolling over,
the stripping, walking on hands and knees,
whimpering, wagging my ass, drinking from her bowl.
what i figured out was
i could do something else,
go back to editing, keep teaching ‘til i retire,
drive a taxi, but she has the one trick,
and needs me to have the imperative.
Michael Jackman teaches writing at Indiana University Southeast, a regional campus of IU Bloomington, just across the river from Louisville, KY, known for the derby, bourbon, and now an embarrassing governor. In 2012 he completed his second masters, this time an MFA in poetry from the Spalding University Low-Residency Program, where he worked with poets Maureen Morehead, Debra Kang-Dean, Molly Peacock, Randall Horton, and Greg Pape. Not long after, he set up a household on almost 2-acres, with a woodlot, 6 chickens, his beloved life-partner Sarah, her five-year old, their two dogs, and their rescue kitten, “Futurecat.”