Parasitic Muse (Poem)

(by Daniel R. Jones)

You’ve seen them—Calliope and Mneme
seducing mortals with sublime beauty.
You’ve heard their voices; sultry, sonorous
seducing mortals,
inspiring them to create works of art
as voluptuous, as full-figured
as they are.

But just as common is the parasitic muse:
flitting across darkened skies
heavy and bestial.
It stalks its prey with a cleaving knife
looking for a galley-slave:
a host to inhabit;
sometimes burning, sometimes hacking its way out.

Ol’ Boy (Prose Poem)

(by Daniel R. Jones)

Ol’ boy came by here not but a month ago and I poked my head out just to ask how he’s doing and he says, “I’m doin’, but I dunno how.”

Before you know it, he’s carrying on about how he got his newest scar: laid down his ‘cycle, maybe, or a southpaw caught him across the eye with a mean left hook outside the dive bar off Post and 23rd.

Ask him if he’s got a Kaw or a Yamaha and he’ll get offended, like. Says he spent his younger years under the hoods of Camaros and his daddy would rise out the grave and whip him good if he heard he wasn’t supporting American-made.

He’s got cheeks that look like sandpaper stretched tight and staked down like a tent. He has Ol’ Glory on one arm and the Stars and Bars on the other. If you’re a woman more’n likely he’ll put a rebel streak in you or at least make you feel a little more patriotic, provided you’re on all the right teams: GM and Coca-Cola and Bud Light and Copenhagen. If you aim to go along with him, remember trucks are meant to be lifted and not dropped, pledge allegiance to Ol’ Dixie and shoot Jack if you can’t stomach a shot of straight Diesel. Even if you don’t go along with him, you’ll get on fine, ’cause not a person alive doesn’t like ol’ boy.

Well anyway, he always did say he’d rather be the devil himself than one of his minions; but I’m thinking the jury must not have known him, must not have really known him, else they wouldn’t have convicted him, ’cause murderer or not, ol’ boy never did mean no harm.

Ars Poetica (in Sapphics)

There’s a chasm splitting the signifier
from the signified. All the linguists agree.
Severed from the tangible, words are almost
meaningless, they’ve said.

Poets play contrarian, tasked with standing
in the gap with arms outstretched to meld a vast
rift, and so erase the sunder between our
symbols and concepts.

Word and meaning wed as one, in the minds of
those who poetry reaches. Both in tandem,
planets align: the music of the spheres in splendid,
perfect harmony.

Past Poem: The Woman on the Bus Encounters Time Dilation

Today, I’d like to cross-link a poem I wrote a couple years ago. It was nominated for a 2017 Rhysling Award, which is an award given out by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association.

The poem was originally published by Altered Reality, which is an excellent speculative fiction magazine in its own right. Please check them out when you’re done reading my poem! The link is below: