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Spent a long career making lots of money for other people. Now it's my turn. _____________________________ Email:

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Jealous Muse

I see the people pass me by. I watch them move along, leaving me behind to be alone. I hear pieces of their conversation and laughter...but only pieces. I am in private conversation with my muse.

The people go to ballgames, picnics, the dance, movies and the bar. Along their way the people will think of what all they'll enjoy today.

I go to a small room with pad and pen as my friends. I think of what I might write today. Alone.

The people go and do their work. They make things for other people, they make money for themselves. With colleagues they will talk of politics, family, and last night's game. They will bicker with each other, and they will bitch about the boss. I watch them move along, leaving me behind,

I am the captive of a jealous Muse.


Blogger For The Trees said...

I've saved you this whole pot of coffee for the three weeks you've been gone, and it's as strong as the aroma of a field hand picking peas in July's hot sun. But I know you like it that way, it keeps you awake while you go make love to your Muse. Or she makes love to you...depending on how good you are to her. Don't forget the hundred-dollar bills folded up and hanging in the smoke of the burning incense...seems to make her jump to it almost twice as fast.'s all about the cash.

Solitary pursuits are the realm of the righter. (sorry.) We sit on our duffs and do our dirty deeds on paper, letting our minds run rampant. Your mind is especially good, and I just wish you'd get busy WRITING instead of bemoaning your aloneness.

Sorta like me. I bemoaned MY solitary existence on my blog this morning. Must be the position of the planets - or the cheeks of my ass in this chair without padding. God, the lousy seat cushions you get with $35 office chairs from Office Max. You'd think they'd stuff them full of foam...oh, wait, that's what they filled them with. My fat ass has flattened the stuff already. Never mind.

9:24 AM EDT  
Blogger For The Trees said...

Oh, yeah...welcome back. I was getting tired of reading the same erotic poem every day when I'd come over here to see what new post you had. Glad you're here.

9:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Good morning, Forrest. It's good to see you.

9:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Bernita said...

"Stranger on the Shore" is one of a writer's theme songs.
You've described the isolation well, Erik.

10:58 AM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...

My muse has taken to wearing garters and silk stockings, high heels. The writer is the last to know?
She is nuzzling up against me and says I should write a blog reminiscent of One Flew Over he Cuckoo's nest.
I don't trust what she's telling me, but I am going to write a blog on writing and schizophrenia anyway.
Do we think not like other people?
Identity is what you do, says my friend, Abdulla the Shrink.
Oh dear.

11:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Does writing have to be lonely? Maybe I'm not cut out for it after all.

1:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Thank you for the fine compliment, Dear Gal. And I do like that song.

For me, writing is lonely. It seems to be by intention, though, since I don't want to be social if I have a story or a scene floating around in my head. I don't want to be distracted from my thought process. Problem is, it seems of late there is always one or the other in me, wanting to come out. Consequently, I have removed myself from frienship.

8:04 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

I don't think writing HAS to be lonely. It depends on one's personality. In my case, it is better for me to pull away when I want to be serious about my writing. Otherwise, I find that I only give half effort.

8:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Your posts are always a deep challenge for me. I look forward to reading the one you propose here.

8:27 AM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...

She be up.

1:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Jaye Wells said...

Welcome back, Erik.

6:05 PM EDT  
Blogger For The Trees said...

ERIK!! it's already Wensdy the 31st of May and you haven't posted another erotic poem!! I'm suffering "James withdrawal."

Will you PLEASE fix this?

Thanks in advance.

Oh, yeah, I drank all the coffee already. Another pot's brewing now.

8:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Thank you. Good to be back.

Sorry, all out of erotic poems for now. I built just the one prototype.

1:09 PM EDT  
Blogger R.J. Baker said...

My muse seems to be like the women in my life, around for a while and love me long enough for me to piss me off and then they leave scarred and broken for a long time, seemingly forever...but while around, life cannot be better.

8:28 PM EDT  
Blogger Dana Y. T. Lin said...

I wish my muse would shut up some times so I can get stuff done.

11:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Erik, I've not an introverted bone in my body and, in fact, quit my career as a fine artist because I couldn't stand how many hours I needed to be alone to achieve success.

Writing has been my avocation for several years, and lately I've debated turning it into a vocation. Needless to say, given my history, your post gave me quite a moment of pause.

But I think I'll be all right as a writer. I do most of my writing when I'm out and about. When I'm in conversations, when I'm doing research, when I'm in restaurants having dinner with a friend and listening to all the conversations around me, when I hear stories from other people, when I read newspapers and history, when I go to movies and ball games, when I see people do uncharacteristic things that give me insight into the private corners of their souls.

Somewhere along the way, a story or an essay forms in my head. Complete and whole: a conflict and a theme, a beginning, middle and end.

Then, late at night or just before dawn, or sometimes over coffee in a coffee shop, I spit it all out into my keyboard. I don't even write an outline. When I go back for a second edit, I rarely change much more than grammar, timing, rhetorical devices, spelling errors. It's just there, whole and complete, just like it was in my head.

Thank you for making me think about this so carefully.

5:42 PM EDT  

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