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poetry Not a Muse

Love, sex, and feminism intertwine in Ohio poet Louise Robertson's wry poetic observations.

Not a Muse

By Louise Robertson

I have dated a few musicians
and exactly two poets. They
have all the lip and spit and finger
you might expect from these people.
They have muscle in their tongue, have
practiced the languages of eye
and breath.

Whenever they write about me,
they somehow get my name to rhyme
with "too late" or "fun in bed,
but moody." Fair enough. Because I am in fact
often exercising my poetic ligaments to craft
a piece about them and their
body with the intent of getting
the tone of their sinew
and the slope of their intellectual jaw
just right.

Here is my ode to a 20 year old
who couldn't look me in the eye. Here
is what middle age looks like with its paunch
and brow and fist. Here is how I say
their names and rhyme them with
"never around" and "likes it when I don't
move." I have dedicated
poems to specific erections, their
tight, their curve or straight, their
earnest pose. Or not so earnest. Not
so tight. Do I really have to tell
you that by erection I mean something else?

So don't write songs which catch my
weak chin and need of solitude. Or don't write
them as if I am unaware of my height,
my sweat, my curl up and sleep. I am
sick of hearing you
count the many ways I can't be loved.

Louise Robertson has earned degrees (BA Oberlin, MFA George Mason University), poetry publications (Pudding Magazine, Crack the Spine, Borderline – among others) and poetry awards (Mary Roberts Rinehart, Columbus Arts Festival Poetry Competition – among others). Brick Cave Media recently published her full-length book, The Naming Of (December 2015). She is active as a poet and organizer in her local Columbus, Ohio poetry scene. Also, someone once said about Robertson that, underneath it all, she is kind.

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