Coffee Drinking Muse

Shirley's been hanging around a lot lately.

I wake up in the morning and she's in the kitchen

drinking her coffee black with one sugar.

Mid-afternoon she's out on the smoking porch

drinking coffee cut with bourbon.

I told her to use the rotgut, with coffee that strong and bitter

no one could tell the difference, but she

insists on the good stuff, won't touch anything but Bulleit.

In the evening, she's back watching the eleven o'clock news and

Jay Leno, feet up on the coffee table, with cup after

cup of Joe, each with one heaping teaspoon of sugar.

When I complain, she says, Man, I alternate with a

glass of warm milk so I can sleep, but she doesn't sleep

and all night long she whispers in my left ear.


Shirley's a thief. When she's not in my house

drinking coffee, she wanders the world over

looking for words and images. She'll take what's 

freely offered, and if nothing's on offer, she'll

steal them outright. No one is safe from her.

You're not safe from her.

That uncertain first kiss, cummings by the duck pond,

the climb up Mombacho, she'll drag them back to me

like a cat with a mouse.

If I'm not careful, she'll tear them apart right under

my nose, and I have the durndest time

putting them back together.

If I'm lucky, I am Frankenstein and with a jolt of

imagination, they can be reanimated, but most of the

time they're at my feet, still and lifeless.



ReadWritePoem Prompt: Day Five

Today, let’s make poetry really personal. Give poetry, as you write it, a name. Possibly a gender. And a personality. OK, world, meet my muse, Shirley.