Tag Archives: writers block

1482. The Peripatetic Muse

Creative people think that there are nine Muses. In fact, there are ten, and I happen to be the tenth. I am known as the Peripatetic Muse because my job is to move from one Muse position to another, so that the nine traditional Muses can take their annual vacation in turn.

Of course, each Muse takes a month off, so I get to operate for them for nine months of the year. The remaining three months I spend planning and preparing for my next nine month stint.

I don’t fill in for each Muse along the same lines as each. For example, when I replace Thalia for a month I’m not inspiring comedy writers to create comedies. When I replace Erato for a month I’m not inspiring poets to pen love poetry.

My function is different. It’s why you never hear of me, because it would ruin my ability to operate freely. Ever heard of writer’s block? That’s me! I help people write comedies (and even tell jokes) that aren’t funny or happy. My task is to make lovers write such appalling doggerel that relationships end in tatters. I inspire aspiring artist to toss their notebooks into the fire. Replacing Calliope is my favourite; I make people compose bombastic crap. When replacing Polymnia several years ago I had my greatest triumph: I invented rap.

Naturally (don’t we all?) I have a wee hobby on the side. I inspire people to write blogs. But shhhh! Don’t tell a soul.

1272. Mad as a meat axe

Angus was as mad as a meat-axe. He believed, he really did, that he was the reincarnation of John the Baptist. Not exactly “reincarnation” but more that he was from a planet somewhere in the Sirius region and the aliens from there controlled our world and sent the occasional prophetic figure to enhance Planet Earth. He was one of them.

His daughter, Mami, conceived not so much accidentally but more out of ignorance in a what-is-going-on moment, was the “reincarnation” of Cleopatra.

Angus also wrote novels – frantically, furiously. His sister, Clarissa, used to gather the novels up and publish them under her own name. It propelled her to near-the-top echelon of the English-speaking writers of the 22nd century. Thank goodness her brother was mad as a meat-axe and unaware of his sister’s deceit.

Then Angus died; or rather was taken back to his planet near Sirius. After that, Clarissa had writer’s block for years.

Poem 13: They upped and left


I called on the Muses.
Help! I said.
They upped and left.

You’re so incompetent, they said,
we don’t want to have anything to do with you even if you wrote a Miltonic epic, so
they upped and left.

As you can see the Muses have well and truly gone, disappeared down the plughole, just like that, and all I wanted was a bit of help writing a couple of iambic pentameters or something, but oh! no!
they upped and left.

That’s going to be the last time I call on the Muses for a hand because they’re so up themselves and so choosy who they help out like Shakespeare and Hemmingway and Flannery O’Connor and all them guys as well as Emily Dickinson and what’s-his-name but not me apparently because I really really suck and anyway, according to some pictures I’ve seen, the Muses are not too hot themselves especially their view from behind as they leave and they certainly don’t have much dress sense and you know what? they lower the tone so I’m glad
they upped and left.

Anyway, as you can see (ahem),
I’m not doing too bad without them.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.