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Missing the Muse & Other Poems

by Joseph Roque

Missing the Muse

Long as it took I used to focus, motionless,
sharp as a diamond blade, to form that perfect
thought, coax that reclusive word, shape that
rebellious rhyme to end an elusive line.

Somehow the sharpness dulled,
gave way to senseless static wrapped
in secretive shadows ─

Crushed, squeezed every bit of life
out of my disheveled creativity; left
me in a chair, babbling a language
I still don’t understand.

I try to form one coherent sentence, one
relevant syllable, but it dribbles down
my chin, mocks me for ruining the rhyme─

For failing to keep the poem alive,
most of all, for running out of time.

Poetry Is

nothing more
and nothing less than words
forged in the fire
of controlled emotion;
seasoned with a natural rhythm─

Clarified and cooled
by the crystal-clear waters
of a poet’s soul.

It is the essence of nakedness, adorned
with the simple jewelry of honesty.
discovery and unpretentious innocence.

Words on Fire

Do not want to be a pedestrian poet,
jaywalking aimlessly,
indifferent to words and rhymes
that define me,
blind to sensibility of tone or form.

Want to be outrageous—
cautiously civilized, casually
controlled but full of surprise and
unrehearsed chaos,
pleasantly pretentious
but dependably disciplined.

Want to
peel the skin off empty rhetoric,
leave it plain and naked,
rhythmically bring
its skin to a blushful desire─

Hold it back─
set it free,
just enough to ignite
the world of words on fire.

Joseph Roque is a poet who frequently writes about life, love, loneliness, growing older, alienation, and the joys of youth. His poems have appeared in Psychopoetica, Mad Swirl, Aphelion, Death Head Grin, The Poet’s Haven, RagMag, and Cerebration. His latest book is Ashes And Excuses.

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