Another Night with the Muse (poem)

The muse sits in the corner

of my room; eyes like

vacant saucers.

I sit at my writing desk,

grasping for an image, a concept,

a sentence. Anything.

Nothing comes.

My mind is like this room,

empty, with an occasional draft.

 

“It’s up to you,” says the Muse,

heckling me from the corner.

“Oh, really?” I ask. “Because,

I’m sitting here at my writing desk

and you’re sitting there

and I’m looking at a blank page

and you’re gazing into the creative abyss

and nothing is happening.

So, who’s fault is this, dear muse?”

 

She smiles.

Like how one does at a foolish child.

She smiles.

 

Back to the blank page.

Oh, Christ.

Back to the blank page.

 

The muse taps my shoudler

I look up at her.

She says, still smiling,

“I can’t guarantee you

magic everyday. Don’t you

think it’s a bit presumptuous

to think I can, or

will?”

 

Then she all but vaporizes into

thin air,

except for that knowing smile.

It lingers in the middle of the room,

suspended. Teeth and lips sway

like a cobweb in the breeze.

Soon it is gone, too.

 

I get back to work.

With the muse out of my hair,

I can finally write this poem.

Enduring a Boring Work Environment

Enduring a Boring Work Environment

I am one of many billions of working class people on this planet whom have endured the privilege of being employed within a stale, drab, and monotonous environment, performing menial and futile labor for a (far more than) modest wage. I say privilege because these environments, when seen objectively alongside all other aspects of my life, have provided me valuable learning experiences. We may be transcendent souls without names. We may be great artists, authentic poets. We may be yearning scientists or refined intellectuals. Our inner-potential may be far above and beyond the work we are obligated to do in order to pay the monthly bills. Yet do not let your factory job, your janitorial job, or whatever, completely bring down your magnificent Soul. Never, ever let such an atrocity happen. There are ways of effective resistance in the working world. If you know them, employ them.

The key to maintaining a mind untouched by a monotonous work environment is to actively engage one’s self in cultivating a rich inner life — to be constantly tackling challenging problems of an intellectual, creative, mathematical, of physical nature. If we find no meaning in the physical labor we are doing, if we find our tasks dull and futile, something akin to Sisyphus rolling his boulder up a steep hill for eternity, we may then find meaning and purpose in the inner-work. And when we have exhausted our internal supply of mental energy, we must then dedicate ourselves to the physical world and concentrate, meditate, solely upon that. Time will appear to pass far more quickly in this way.

One of the best aspects of free will is a person’s ability to decide what attitude they possess, regardless of the attitudes which surround them. One’s mind, after all, need not be equivalent to one’s environment. If your surroundings are drab, bleak, less than colorful, then all the more reason to cultivate your inner universe into one that is vibrant, exciting, and teeming with exciting possibilities. Aspire. Challenge all conventions. Question things you’ve never before dared to question. Attempt to be born again. If you’ve got the time, why not? Let your hands do the unexciting stuff and allow your brain to commit itself to the more intriguing aspects of life

You might also benefit by keeping in mind that there are far worse fates than to endure ubiquitous ennui! Such as, for example, the experience of severe tooth pain. I could write you a whole, miserable account of my experience with agonizing tooth pain (initially I typed, “toothache”, then backspaced over it like a creature not quite put out of its misery — as that word certainly doesn’t do the reality of a tooth decaying directly into the sensitive nerves in your gums any justice). But I will spare you that story for now. Suffice it to say, I can endure many unfortunate environments and circumstances just by saying, “At least my teeth do not ache.” A sense of gratitude can do a person wonders, especially for one working an 8 to 5 shift in a factory, assembling tiny electric motors, or sorting through ten thousand plastic pieces for minute deficiencies.

These, I hope, are helpful tips one may put to use when challenged by an unfortunate position within the working class world. It is certainly not an easy world, and I know these things are easier said than done.

More importantly, if you find great dissatisfaction with your paying gig, I recommend you quit, if possible. Find a new one, even if it is only a hair better than your last. Keep aspiring to something better. You deserve it. And believe me, something better is possible.

Build up your inner world to your satisfaction (may you never quite be satisfied), remain strong, keep growing, and keep hope alive! You are not a function of robotism so much as a genuine human being with a great potential to do better, more important work.