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Muse

“Only you can deprive yourself of anything.”
    ~ A Course in Miracles, chapter 11, p. 186, Foundation for Inner Peace, eighth printing, Dec. 1980

Maybe it started on the chilly day
We stood side by side at the mortuary.
She came so close that I felt her convey
Bodily warmth very comfortingly.
Maybe it kicked in when I heard her play
Piano solos most admirably.
Her school was off across town, where the sway
Of reputation might not affect me.
In other words, I was not known as gay
There, so my hope was she’d less likely flee
If I should offer my heart. What to do?
We’re not near licensed to drive, but I could
Go on my ten-speed, just be passing through
By her place, and if she’s outside I would
Stop and say hi. So I swung past each week
And found she didn’t spend much time outdoors.
Maybe a cyclist seemed to her a freak:
I learned she spent lots of time at mall stores.
All of this buildup came with one cruel streak:
I was afraid to say “Take me, I’m yours.”
What to do next? She had stolen my heart
But for all that, had she any idea?
I could write music for her: there’s a start,
But she might hate it like diarrhea.
Nevertheless these thoughts made me embark,
With frenzied interest, on composition.
After all, what had in me lit a spark?
Piano solos thence my obsession,
Though if she heard mine I was in the dark,
Till she dropped music and stuck to fashion.
She remained friendly but made no remark
To clue me if she could share my passion.

Several years later, on a cloudy day
I wrote my last piece in tribute to her.
Until that time, though she’d held total sway,
Nothing I’d done had yet caused her to stir,
Till I’d asked someone at her school to stray
Over to her with a sappy letter.
She’d read my screed, seemed excited at first,
Then she’d inquired from whom it had come.
Her sour reaction caused my heart to burst,
But given time, I became not so glum,
Realizing I’d been much happier when
In my imaginings my music would
Gladly be played by the beauty I’d in
Mind when composing it. Tell me why should
She’ve had to come to know how she inspired
Such a despicable dork as myself?
There’s but one thing that’s from now on required:
I’ll hold the best of me back on the shelf
Unless I find there’s been some real breakthrough.
I may date women eventually,
But with wild-eyed preconceptions I’m through,
And if I’ll fall for one who won’t want me,
I shall immediately say adieu
For what’s the point to let her feel I’m sad?
It’s no one’s fault I’m a challenge to love,
I’m such a weirdo. This isn’t so bad:
Detailed and colorful things I dream of.
I’ve bared my soul, and all for no result
But a dour stack of these musical scores:
Though in their bleakness I used to exult
They’ll spend a lot more years tucked in their drawers.
I’ll take on most any creative feat
That the best woman the least notice bears;
Make it worthwhile, recondite, offbeat,
For fun or money. For women? Who cares.
I’d rather be all alone than repeat
Forays toward further one-sided affairs.
Keeping my distance keeps me on my feet:
I can imagine what no woman shares
With me — and why should you call it the blues?
If I love someone, she’ll just be my muse.

Thanks always returns

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