when you get lost

when you get lost, pick up a pen, a pencil, your phone, keyboard, paintbrush, chisel, hammer, loudspeaker, break open your chest and rip your heart out.

whisper to it scream why you’re still here why you will not give up how you are too stubborn to just die you are too glorious to accept this misery this lack of life.

force your heart back in refuse it’s radio silence, sew yourself back up, one foot in front of the other into the garage, hook yourself up to the jumper cables and step behind the curtain, take control of the command center hijack the speaker system, scream like you mean it until your neighbors believe it.

dig up all your broken bones, peel off your empty dead skin, collect the blood and hours of secret tears, chew it up spit it out, push the pads on remove all the metal, stand

CLEAR!

bring it to life, fashion it into rope, make an incision, tie it to your gut find your way home, crawl back into who you knew you were always meant to be who you want need to be, because this drowning in a walking flatline only ends one way.

you don’t need advice until you know where you’re headed.

the man on the moon doesn’t know, put a glass to your ribs and listen, you do.

pick up an ax, stalk the brokenness out back to the post you’ve been chained to, throw the strongest link on the chopping block and SAY CHEESE annihilate them.

take a flamethrower to your slave masters, use their ashes to create your own garden because you can feed yourself.

this is about you, sit in the fire and when you open your eyes push magic through your veins like electricity, a closed door cannot stop your flames.

and if you’re feeling cold, warm yourself with the licking of lashings scarring your insides where no one can touch you, make it all better.

make it all better.

you’re going to burn. burn true. heat cities. grow multitudes. create mammoth atoms to spin within your own sphere, always pulling you, holding you home.

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Cinnamon Swirl

 

Sunlight Melts

Like lemon drops

And butterscotch lace

 

 

Kissing

Tick

An icy dam

Tock

 

Dripping down the side

Seeping through the cracks

Spilling over

 

Molten flame

Licking at the

Patchwork parts

 

The cold fights back

Tick

Like a broken flurry of

Plastic wrapped mints

Tock

 

Cutting deep

Frenzied

 

Heated satin

Cauterizes all breaches

Lapping up tiny

Peppermint tears

 

This house

Is a walk-in freezer

Tick

Burning exposed flesh

Tock

 

 

 

By Daphne Shadows

Me, My Muse, and I

As writers – no, as any creative type out there in this insane asylum world – I think we’re insulting ourselves when we talk about capturing and keeping a muse.

There is no muse.

There is you.

You creative.

You’re inspired, you’re helped by a Higher Power if you believe in such things (a deity, the universe, a spark of something, whatever you believe), you work hard, and enjoy it, and you write (or do whatever your brand of creativity is).

You don’t yank some robe wearing, fancy-shmancy, cocktail drinking, snobbish, childish, prudish, or sensually enslaving chick out of the ether and chain her to your desk. You don’t capture a muse. You don’t lure a muse. You don’t entice, beg to attend to you, leave food out for, sit around and wait for, write until you hope it’ll show up – a muse.

YOU put in the work.

You capture inspiration that works for you.

You find time, you find a reason, you enjoy, you feel driven – to write.

You write until you feel that magic. You write when you don’t feel it.

You do all of this.

 

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I’m not trying to offend anyone who believes in finding their muse.

I simply think we’ve taken it way too freaking far. It’s gone from metaphoric to depressing.

It’s our responsibility to create the stories in our head into something magickal, fierce, lovable. We should get the credit for putting in the work.

I think we deserve to think better of ourselves.

We don’t need to wait for someone/something out of our control to saunter on in, decide we’re worth her/his time all of sudden, and lend a hand.

 

If a muse exists, it’s you. Its inside you. I’m not talking multiple personality disorder (which by the way is now DID). I’m talking you.  If you want to use it metaphorically, go right ahead. But I’m tired of people talking like they’re not the amazingness behind their amazingness. We all draw inspiration from the world and people around us. But we’re the one dedicating time to what we’re doing.

So, if you must believe in a muse. Believe you’re your own muse.

 

I wrote this a few days ago when I entertained (for about half a day) the idea of writing one blog post a day in Rara’s November #nanopoblano. (I think I’d run out of things to talk about and probably get real boring. For some reason, I really like the idea of trying anyway.)

Anywho – afterward, I opened up “Zen in the Art of Creativity” by Ray Bradbury and started reading the next essay. Which happened to be on the ever-elusive muse.

In my opinion, his essay backs up my crazy ranting. To feed your muse is to always be hungry for life. Your muse is a collective of everything you’ve absorbed and stored. If I’m reading it correctly.

 

Meaning, your muse isn’t some creature you keep chained in the basement after you lure it and bash it over the head.

Your muse is everything which inspires you. Every breath you take in while you’re imagining. Your muse is every childlike awe. Every memory filled with angst or wonder.

Your muse is you. The hidden you. The real you. The you that screams inside your skull and heart when the fake you is speaking through a mask.

Your muse is inside you, behind your rib cage, peering out, waiting.

So stop selling yourself short.

If you want to feed your muse, figure out what you’re hungry for.

 

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