“Complaint of the Muse: Take This Job and Shove It”

Click here to listen to Robert Thomas read this poem. You watched as I rode my bike for a butter stick, watched from the choir as I returned to my pew from the communion rail, counting the red tiles. When I ran out of gas next to a garlic farm and went down a furrow to the dark garage, when I danced at my brother’s wedding stomping my boots without wasting one drop of champagne, you were there. You loomed, likening me to a diamond can opener or a one-woman bevy of quail, but always likening me. I bled and to you I was a page-turner, wept and for you the mokihara bloomed red on Mt. Waialeale. You don’t even know that Johnny PayCheck died last month, whose obituary said he shot a man in an Ohio watering hole, capitalized the “C” in his name a few years later, and wrote three great songs, one of which is remembered. What about your obit? That you fed lambs with an eye-dropper? Milked the Great Bear? I’ve had it up to here with your marching band: I’m taking off my spandex epaulettes. The next time I toss my flaming baton, I’ll be in another state when it comes down. On your honeymoon I’ll be the aa, the glorious, trillion-spined black lava slicing through your flip-flops.