Muse Hymn Box

Jenny Aarts

Carolyn Aitken

Heather Blakey

Nicole Cody

Elizabeth Hayes

Stephanie Hansen

Jean Houston

Vi Jones

Gail Kavanagh

Tad Kelson

Jan Kricker

Audrey Larkin

Lisa Mahon

Amanda Maruhn

Sue Meyn

Belleruth Naparstek

Kay Marie Porterfield

Jo Ralston

Frances Arnett Sbrocchi

Teresa Seed

Cathy Tudor

Megan Warren

Nicola Warwick






A spirited,Vespa riding Muse
by Jenny Aarts

My muse finally arrives late at night, making one hell of a racket and riding a red Vespa. She roars into my bedroom just as my eyes are closing and says 'What are you doing in here? Come on, we've got work to do.' 'Leave me alone,' I say, snuggling under the covers, 'in fact, go away.'

'Well,' she says huffily, taking off her helmet and fluffing up her hair with her manicured fingers, 'That's nice. I thought you wanted to be a writer.'
'I do,' I say, sitting bolt upright, 'but I want civilised hours, thank you. none of this writing in a garret by candlelight for me.'
'Ho hum,' she says, 'if you can't be bothered striking when the iron's hot, why should I?

I notice she's yawning and filing her nails - a bad sign. 'Look,' I say,' I thought you were meant to whisper divine thoughts into my shell-like ear, not charge into my sacred space on that turbo-charged thing like a Ferrari driver. I're not even wearing a floaty gown. What's a Muse doing in a leather miniskirt and thigh-high boots, for heaven's sake?'

'Ah, I'm sick of those shapeless maternity dresses everyone insists on us wearing,' she says, inspecting her crimson-lacquered nails for chips, ' and besides, they had a one-off sale of Italian fashion on at Leichhardt. Since I'm in this part of the world....well, the parking is easier than it is in Milan, believe it or not. You know how it is.'

I can't help but sympathise. I know how it is with parking these days. It's a nightmare.
'Anyway,' she sniffs, 'you ought to get yourself down there. That thing you're wearing has seen better days. It's worse than an ancient Muse-gown, if that's possible. And it's got a hole in the back, in case you hadn't noticed.
Over your bum, actually.'
'My husband likes it,' I say, defensively, 'and this is a nightdress for your information. It's what I wear when I want to SLEEP!'

I fling the covers over my head.
There's a muffled roaring in my ears. She's leaving! How dare she desert me, just like that?
Three days later I'm sitting at the computer, still going blankety-blank. I have nothing to write about. Not one miserable idea, let alone a brilliant one. My hands and brain are paralysed.

Two days later, I begin to type. Anything to break the boredom. Words, meaningless words, plopping on to the screen. Where is she, that mean Muse of mine? Why is she so unforgiving?
After I've filled up ten pages of drivel, I hear the unmistakable roar of the Vespa as it zooms through my lounge room and into the study. She has the nerve to wink at me through her goggles.

'Where have you been? I needed you,' I sulk.
'Is that right?' she says, tossing her head like a wild brumby,' I suppose you expected me to guide your pen too.'
'Well, yes,' I say,'I could do with some help.'
'Think outside the square,' she says, 'that's it for today from me. Do you like my new bag?'

I do. I love it. I have to have one. I hop on to the back of the Vespa and we zoom down to Leichhardt for a coffee and some serious shopping. My head is bursting with new material and my fingers are itching to get it all down on paper.
While I'm feverishly writing away in the cafe, she says, 'You should get out more,' and then she leaves me to it while she goes off in search of a good hairdresser.



Muse Hymn Box
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Heather Blakey asserts the right to be identified as the author of this work