Inspiration

Inspiration is not a river, nor a stream
There is no constant trickle of ideas
It is neither an ebb nor a flow
Inspiration is a small spark

From a single match, a single discarded cigar
Taking hold of a forest, searing the sequoia
And then
Gone

A spark, a small spark
Yet the mind needs nourishment
Much like anything else
It wilts, it flops, flaccid into itself
An implosion

Caused by mass media news and junk television
Feed it Dickens, Tolkien, Keats, Yeats
Chekhov, Ovid, Blake, yes even Blake
I’ll never love your little lamb, Sir, but you stirred me up
And feeling like shit is at least feeling something
I tip my hat towards Gothenburg

Not true writers; musicians, the professors clamour
As they strive to root out some great mystery in every
Single, metric, foot, as though, Shakespeare buried
Some great secret in Coriolanus
And you could be the one to break his code
Now, come on Sir, perhaps he just wanted to use a full
Fucking
Stop
Right there.

Oh and then Marlowe, what a man can achieve in some short
Thirty years
Is enough to confound as much as admire
If a few glasses break over my thick skull some day soon
I hope some whining fool is writing odes to me
In four hundred years time

Though I’d settle for four hundred days
Now, Poe, America’s finest, many might argue
Yet you chilled my bones, as you buried her alive
In a crypt by the tarn

And moving back, Dante, hell you’ve got some nerve
Some verve, and a ponderous verse
Call upon Virgil and imply his approval
When he is but dust and his Rome a memory

If i chose a guide through this, by my side
I know of one man I would take
Though he wanders through the dark now himself
He’ll never walk alone as he stands guard atop the walls
The abbey, in red, will always live with me
So, Sir Jacques, I bid you your rest

And so what if elves became otters and dwarves were just mice
Great Gilgamesh proved that a cliche, a story told twice
Can ignite millions
Move them to love or incite to hate

So whether you live long with whiskey in hand
Then tube in your throat, defiant to the end
Or let it wash atop you and be overwhelmed
With stones in your pockets, barefeet in the riverbed

Inspiration drives us, us artists, us fools
Tonight I lay Dostoyevsky aside
I feel far too much like Raskolnikov
Yet half as smart

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10 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. What is wrong with Blake sir?! Very good poem though, flows well. You should look dabble in beat poetry too, it would be interesting.

  2. A giddying array of literary reference that leaves a recently-graduated English student nostalgic for days too soon gone by. To be honest, I began thinking that I’ve read better on inspiration, but you convinced me by the end, so a tip of the hit to you, too. I’m with you on Blake, as well.

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