The Muse Resigns
by Phoebe Wilcox

The muse resigns her position as Chief Inspiration
after being rendered, represented,
suggested, reworked,
embellished, exaggerated,
tweaked, twisted
--and thoroughly dehumanized as is attendant to the task--
in so many sculptures,
a fusillade of odes,
the cold shoulder of portraiture
(and that of the absorbed creator).

The artist sees the glint in her eyes
without recognizing tears,
so the muse refuses to sit any longer for the pose,
although the lighting is flattering
and her endurance strong.
She overturns paint pots,
throws brushes like daggers,
and sprints her naked rage
out into the busy street.

No, you can’t capture my essence anymore.
I won’t allow it.
Not unless you capture me first.
And at second thought,
that won’t work either.
Just enjoy tweaking and reworking the sunset.
It will go down forever for you.
And you can make it whatever damn color you wish.


Copyright 2023 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.