There have been times in my writing when I can’t be available enough and times when it slows and stalls and I believe I’ll never write anything again. I do continue to write during the ‘slow periods,’ but it doesn’t have the same feel as it does when ‘the muse is present.’ After almost writing nothing for an entire year (that was worth anything), I moved to a small town in Wisconsin. It’s often strange to me that small towns or a return to my hometown seem to bring the ‘muses’ forward. When I am in big cities or on vacation in places I dream of being in, it’s never proven to be one of the most fruitful periods of writing for me. When I moved into this small town, I agreed that since I was no longer dealing with the Southern California traffic and a long commute, I would continue to wake up at four in the morning and utilize this time to write. I lived in that house for a year with a lot of internal ups and downs. I did get up every day and wrote. I found, in doing this, how important a morning routine was to me. I was the guy who’d hop out of bed, barely eat breakfast, shower, get ready, and off to work. I often tell my clients now about how powerful and transformative the morning routine was to me. It gave me time to wake up, get myself ready for the day, actually eat breakfast and enjoy my coffee. I don’t know if the ‘muses’ sensed this new sense of tranquility and comfort, but I wrote at least one piece every day that year. There were some days I would be quickly trying to get ideas down because one had finished and another was coming, and I had to leave for work. I also stress to my clients (just from a health perspective) having that morning routine, changed my perspective on a lot of things. I did not dread waking up because it became my favorite time of the day. I looked forward to the hours selectively designated for me to do something I love. Not surprisingly, the periods of my life where I have been in that pattern and used it to work out have also provided similar feelings. There’s just something about knowing by the time I got to my ‘real job,’ at 0630, that I had created something. I used my energy already in a healthy manner. I strongly advise people all the time now to wake up earlier (if they can) and use that time to do something healthy and constructive, whether it’s art or exercise. There’s a peacefulness to being up and checking in with yourself. It was extremely therapeutic for me. I had to move from that house, but that is what I remember fondly of it. I remember waking up and watching the sun come up as I worked hard on piece of writing. It was so peaceful and joyous that when I moved, although I still carry the system, I felt like I needed to write a good-bye to the muses of that house that were so kind to me. It was my way of thanking them. As I mentioned before, it was a big move and transition. There was a ton going on in my personal life that I had to process, and I couldn’t have done it without those mornings. This is my thank you poem to them. I wrote it on the last morning before the moving truck arrived.
The Muses of Main Street
I can tell you stories that start
You are the muse who moved in to stay.
Many began and ended with stories that end.
Glances, stanzas, the vivid colors, the most dangerous ways,
With toes that have danced to many oceans
Letting whitecaps wrap around their skin
Collecting sand in their bathing suits
When the temperature fell a little too fast,
When the moon needed to reset us both.
But you unpacked even after the dogs snapped at you outside
And the strange immigrant woman ran away from you in her nightgown,
As if she could sense word, wounds as dangerous.
You’re heart pumping, believe me I came in the same door
The rickety stair well with it’s thick lumber smell when it rained,
The creaks in the hall, alerting the beer drinking neighbor
To get up and spy. The rusted pipes, the onion like smelling water,
The intense heat even when the winds from the great like Michigan blew north.
Together we grew poems and children, mothers and fathers.
We became the stuff of books & flesh and bone,
Mouth, ear lobe, all expressions and markers.
We renewed this place with our pure oxygen poems
The nearby riverbeds and trails with the leaves we lose
Only to reach for greener seasons to come.
I used to try to leap across ponds,
Putting all my faith and love under these simple feet,
And in one mind second jump
To end up wet and cold, looking like a wood nymph,
My poetical heart feeling cheated and chilled;
Leaving my empty carcass and walking away.
All it took was one incredible set of lips,
To kiss my intimacies and armies into spoken word spaces.
It’s so much easier to stay when you know something will wait, will stay.
I begin & begin; I am notorious for reflexive getaways.
You knew living with me, the ending was never far off.
If a muse is grounded enough for four AM wake up calls
After listening to all night blowout bar brawls at the yacht club nowhere near water,
I never had to worry about shattering you when the next beginning shouted.
As we part ways, I cried crimson tears.
No one ever made love to my hands ever so intelligently.
Stripping me of my dignity. My love inside our propellant destructivity,
Shot off in rockets of poems that drown my heart in the pollution
Of this disgusting apartment, where I was elevated to a love so graceful,
By being so intrinsic to the existence of feeling engulfed
I came to experience in the virtue of your presence..
All those little serendipitous gasps you helped me find in the intricacies of my thoughts….
My forwarding address is once again my whole self.