2018-06-06

New Muses: forever inwords

I'd been meaning to post the words to these for some time, then I forgot...

...but now somebody asked, so here they are!




New Muses for a Post-Human Age



Calliope

Call me Calliope. My steampunk look
left over from the fairground organ vibe...
It was a strange new way to be alive
encoded on punched cards, but I took that
and ran with it. I formally enlarged
my sphere of influence: from epic verse
—the quests of heroes... battles... kings and curses—
to something even worse, I'm NP-hard

computation. I am the patron saint
of any project where the work of brain
exceeds the work of muscle by a hundred
fold. I urge you on, through records numbered
in the billions. Always epic at heart,
the oldest muse, but now... state of the art.


Clio

Is Vanderella going to leave Stu?
I've the hot gossip, all the celeb sleaze
for you. It's me who helps sustain belief
that heroes have the hots for you; the muse
of fan-boys shipping couples whom the authors
did not dream were close. I love red carpet spite
and all the tiny dresses that the big nights
bring out to play. I love to see the other

starlets' partners start to drool. I am quite mean
(necessarily) with all your fanfic scene,
your flash/slash stories and most of your art
but also note I hold your private heart
up for the other otaku's gaze. Their praise
I offer you: we'll fan your secret blaze.


Euterpe

There's drugs and sex and then there's me, I've ditched
my flute and taken up the Stratocaster.
There's sex and drugs and ever faster, faster
on motorbikes. I am nobody's bitch
but I will ride you in a motel room
with both our earbuds plugged into the noise.
I offer leather jackets and other toys,
like pills and needles of straw-coloured doom—

my cultists are the twenty-seven club
and I tell you there is no greater love
and never any form of sadness sweeter
than for the young musician turned to meat
before their time. I'm loud, not sweet, not modest.
I am the one, the only, true rock goddess.


Erato

Erato here, you think there's nothing new
beneath the sun. You say you've fucked in all
the ways, by pairs and threes. You say you fall
for boys and girls and toys and ropes and screw
your parents and their weird ideas... but I'll
tell you that sex is of the mind, and gender's
in your pretty head. My gift to you is tender
feelings of all types, no need to justify

if they're for someone cute or for a self
made for yourself—personas off the shelf
or custom-built. I am the mirror for
your work-in-progress life of love and more.
You follow me with every stroke of brush
on image: perfect yourself; there is no rush.


Melpomene

My mask is no less tragic now I've swapped
the costume for the soberest of suits
and left the boarded stage so they can shoot
me here, behind the fancy desk. I've chopped
your world down into sound bite size. I prize
all moments of sick carnage I report
and human interest sobs. One time I thought
this a temporary gig, but no: I rise!

There's no end to your appetite for slaughter
or how you idolize the war reporter
who pulls his face into a sad expression
and flat-voiced says that on sober reflection
a civil war may not be altogether
the best thing for this place. And now the weather...


Terpsichore

You want to switch your gender? I'm fine
to help with that. You want to swap your limbs?
That's cool. Steel can be sexier than skin—
if you do it right. You can take me as the sign
the universe don't need you in the form
that you were born in. Take it from me: human's
defined by what the human does and "super"
is an epithet you add yourself. So warm

the cockles of your cybernetic pump...
or maybe you need less? Perhaps just jumping
higher than the other guy, despite your lack
of legs. We can do this! Just put your back
and prosthetics into it. You'll get the cheers
and if not, you can always be reengineered.


Thalia

Say what you will: I know the truth of you
and how you spin yourselves just makes me laugh
you say you are a moral man, pay half
your tax, are faithful to your wife—you screw
around only if out of town. I know
all those sharp edges on your soul, and grime
long ground into the fabric. All the time,
you skirt the crime tape round the portico;

the columns all look straight when you are just
a little off from centre and you must
therefore believe this is the place to stand;
believe you worked this out yourself. "Random"
is my critique of your fondest self beliefs,
but I love your lies, they are my light relief.

Urania

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two...
and so on. This is my new song: music, spheres,
steel gantries pointing through the atmosphere
at the nearer of the spinning rocks. I see
more futures in the heavens now. The signs
of yesteryear and claiming to see clearly
through crystals or in fight of birds, they weary
me. Come worship, when orbits all align,

with rocket stacks of high explosive fuel.
Sweat in your launch capsule. Try to keep cool,
as mission control applies the match. Or probe
from a safe distance. Fire robots from your globe
up into my domain. While far stars shine,
new worshipers approach more distant shrines.


Polyhymnia

Loading data. I’m loading all your data
for I am Polyhymnia and all
your songs sound well to me. We'll have no walls
between the disciplines or their creators.
Come here. I'm what you see when you look across
the quad and through some other department's window.
I'm what you find if you stare from what you know
towards what you do not. My tracks crisscross

your landscape of epiphanies and wide-
eyed wonder-strikes. The days you stepped aside,
and saw the world was not the thing you knew,
were down to me. I love things, once untrue,
now obvious. The whole damn thing's my faith,
I say: embrace your inner polymath...


Omnes

Immortal though the gods have always been,
they mostly now are gone. Eternity
went on and on and most lost heart. We now see
we always were the best. We were the queens
of continual creation, not just pulling
a universe out of a hat and taking
the afternoon off. Not blustering and faking
a lightning smite, but eternally fulfilling

a quota of electric inspiration
for every soul. We don’t control or ration,
we simply open floodgates of ideas
and drop you in the flow; but do not fear
we’ll hold your collective hand, live in your minds,
we are with you until the end of time.




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