michelle mcgrane – the recalcitrant muse

Michelle McGrane, 2012. Photo by Arja Salafranca


The Recalcitrant Muse

Sunlight blisters through moth-eaten curtains.
In her mildewed apartment high above the city,
the Muse stumbles out of bed, stubs her toe
in the kitchen as she fumbles for a cigarette,
reheats last night’s coffee and loneliness,
gulps it down dark, bitter, thick with grounds
that refuse to dissolve her tongue’s furred lining.

She is late for the morning’s first appointment
with a middle-aged divorcée at 52 East Avenue.
It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, this muse business.
She’s tired of being aloof, untouchable.
Give me strong hands, warm flesh, a hairy chest,
a plunging prick, fucking on the formica table.
She could use a drink. A few hours’ sleep.
Immortality doesn’t pay the bills.

from The Suitable Girl (Pindrop Press/Modjaji Books).

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