Seriously, This is a Problem?

Pardon me, have you seen my muse?
She used to come around quite a bit.
Lately she has been derelict in her duties.
I fear that she may have packed her bags and left no forwarding address.

In my younger years, my angst was strong.
My anger was vital and fueled me through dark nights.
My resentments, my secrets, my mistakes stood around my bed.
Staring down at me as I fitfully struggled to sleep.

Yes, youth. Hormones assuring every emotion would be felt to the fullest.
Deep and meaningful, the world around me full of color and detail.
Every thought I scribbled down was another layer of profound brick.
My pen and keyboard blazed with every declaration.

Love hurt, hate hurt, apathy hurt. I needed so much attention.
My esteem was low, my ignorance great, and my mouth didn’t know to shut.
Drama danced around me, picking me up and throwing me down.
But through it all, my notebook, my words, my key to surviving.

Words have never failed me, but I have failed them.
Perhaps I should know more of them, my verbal quiver somewhat lacking.
I should read more books, and spend less time clicking “like”
Stalling to find my next subject to eviscerate.

My muse has gone off to the ether, for my former fertile fields
Of fury, resentment, and distrust have grown fallow.
And the ghosts of the past no longer haunt me.
The doctors tell me that I am going to pull through.

Because I am finding that at this point in my life,
I am actually quite happy and content, and very satisfied.
With that Shiva-fire quenched, there seems to be less to talk about.
And it’s really fucking up my poetry.

If you have come to my blog thanks to “Freshly Pressed” — let me be the first to tell you today that YOU ROCK. Feel free to click “Like” on anything on my blog. It makes me feel special. I follow back, for anyone that cares to do so.


211 thoughts on “Seriously, This is a Problem?”

  1. Once I feel in love (for real, for the hundredth time) and found that he really was the one, I don’t think I’ve written poetry since… it’s been eleven years and counting. Truly love my husband, but I do miss the inspiration that a quality (what word is appropriate here?) break up can bring. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  2. I’m like you. I have never ending writers block. When I was younger I wrote countless of poems daily. Now I do good to write twice a week. When you find your voice again come help me find mine.

      1. Hey Tom,
        I was wondering about the survey we took regarding the correct font for your book. I’m curious – was your preferred option the one that we thought was best?

      2. First off, thanks for reblogging my poem. Very cool! I was most partial to #1,but switching out Castellar for Stencil as there is an armed conflict throughout the book, so it echoes that theme.

        I’m really glad that I thought to post about the fonts, I can be a bit indecisive at times, and it helped tremendously.

  3. This is a brilliant and insightful poem, whilst still managing to use some wry humour at the end.. Very nice.

      1. Wow, you are right on top of things! Yep, me? Much tortured and loathing my writing by default. Ain’t it the way. I have many notebooks packed away in boxes downstairs. They’d probably read like comedy now.

        The Thumb came about as an experiment in tracking what I own. I mean, what if the house burns down? How do I prove to the insurance people I actually had all that stuff? But then it became addictive to post them. And so…

        Going to follow your blog. Keep up the good work!

  4. Oh, don’t worry. I don’t think your Muse has left. She may just be sleeping. Muses do that; they sleep until the right moment, and then when you see something inspirational, they wake up to transform it into art through your imagination and hands.

  5. Lovely. You have real, raw talent. Thank you for the follow and congrats on getting Freshly Pressed 🙂 You’re “Why I am so Damn Cool” sounds a lot like what I would say about myself 😉

      1. I’m always up for a writing challenge, but whatever you throw my way will have to wait until my brain settles — I have some major quasi-ADHD happening at the moment. Digging your blog BTW

  6. Awesome blog. Found you through Freshly Pressed. I’m a writer too, with those big big dreams of one day being published. Even considering jumping into the self-published thing. So I’ll definitely enjoy reading about your adventures!

  7. i agree…contentment kills the creativity…and so I think I shall write more about gratitude.

    this was pretty dang good…writing about writing…or NOT writing, rather.. 🙂

  8. Hahah I have found this quote to be kinda topic related….(more nay than yay) “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed,” as said by our beloved Ernest Hemingway. Oh, and another one, “There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” And this last quote, is a very true story, indeed.
    Lovely poem! Thanks for sharing and congrats on being freshly pressed! That’s awesome, like super awesome. Swing by my blog if you feel the need to read something good 😉 I’m kidding. I just wanted to catch your attention. Cheers.

    1. Funny, I just read that Hemingway quote yesterday…I hadn’t seen it before that. Now, it’s come up twice. Thanks for you comments, I am heading over to your blog now.

  9. Very creative post! Reading it inspired me to try poetry. 🙂 Great site you have here too so I’m gonna follow you now.. Hehe! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed by the way!

  10. Great post. I know what you mean about the self-imposed drama of youth. Funnily (?) I still have my share of angst. Hard to get the English Lit major out of the girl, I suppose. I like your style of writing!

    1. Thank you much, just checked out your blog as well, it’s great to meet you. As with many writers, we will always have a store of angst somewhere, I was an English major as well — I think it comes with the territory.

    1. I curse only for dramatic effect. My dad used to say that sometimes there just isn’t a better word to express the feeling. Less is more. Thanks for your kind words.

  11. This is a very witty poetry!
    Tha’s so true. If I’m angry or sad or outright bored, my scratchpads filled like crazy, and not just with angsty poetry. I think muse likes dark-ish personae.
    When I’m happy, all I want is to read, watch movies, y’know, doing things.
    They call me insane if I try to find something to bore me just so I can write.

  12. Muses, can’t live with ’em, can’t write without ’em. We beg and plead for them to show up on time and if they were actually paid employees, we would have fired them long ago, but we do love them, unconditionally. Have you ever had the muse show up on time only to have your focus walk out of the job or go missing while holidaying in the Bermuddle triangle of the imagination?

    Love the blog.

  13. I’m in my teenage years and my mood swings have been too off lately. At least I can relate with that part. Thank you for this!!

  14. Love your style of writing 🙂 Congratulations on being freshly pressed! Can’t wait to read more from you

  15. Fantastically funny poem, love it! You certainly deserve to be the Freshly Pressed and I admire your bravery – I just recycled a whole sheaf of work into the bin because reading my stuff makes me cringe, let alone sharing it! That said, the difference between cringy and non-cringy writing is probably quality…
    Anyways, love the poem and am now folllowing your blog.

    1. It’s painful to share, the Internet somehow makes it easier. Weird. Thanks for your thoughts, I feel a lot better about my craft today than I did last week 🙂 I followed you back as well, thanks much!

  16. Really? You put it on the page you would visit everyone who likes the post? You’re a good man.
    I enjoyed reading through the comments [I do have a life… call it research. Curiosity has to be a besetting sin of all writers, or maybe just English majors.].
    Love the final stanza.

    1. Yep. I have been spending all day doing so, and it’s a luxurious problem to have. I am seeing so many great blogs that I would not have discovered otherwise. It’s been a great day 🙂 Thanks for your comments.

  17. Kindred spirits. I’ve been thinking much the same thing lately. I used to have so much burning emotion in me that I needed to release onto paper. Now I’m older, happier, content. It seems so strange to write about that instead.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  18. I saw your muse on a beach, lounging in an Adirondack chair and watching the sunset. I’m going to let her sit a little longer and then I’ll work on persuading her to come back and see you. She said to say she misses you, too. 😉

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

      1. That could be a-“muse”-ing, but I think James Bond already did. She’s his type.

        Thanks for the follow on my blog. I look forward to exchanging wit with you, fellow blogger.

  19. This is so awesome and I very much relate to it. I seem to sabotage myself just to stay in the dark places my muse likes to linger in. She is a very dark, angry and sadistic muse at times.

  20. Oh God! Well, for the first time I have seen a poem getting freshly pressed (maybe I don’t really keep a track of things), but also, this is the best post that has ever been freshly pressed. Thank you for this wonderful piece. I’m in love with your blog. 🙂

  21. This is so true. When I am all happy with my life, I go watch a movie. It’s mainly when I am miserable and lonely, that I pick up the pen. I like poems that don’t rhyme. Gives a very raw touch!

  22. Love it. I feel the same way. I tend not to write when I’m feeling good, so it ends up looking to strangers as though I am just broody and miserable all the time.

  23. There are stages in poetic maturity, I find. And any stage may be a link back to the beginning, though it seems very different in nature. So (from your featured poem above) I feel that maybe the same thing has happened to your poetry as has happened to mine: it’s simply become less imagistic, more rhetorical, perhaps. This is not bad or good (there are many different kinds of poets, as you know), just something that happens. Maybe you will circle back soon (p.s. my poetry to date is feature on my site,, but if you aren’t ready to follow or have too much to do with being Freshly Pressed–and congratulations on that!–then maybe just peek in when you have time. You can compare early poems with later ones and see the same sort of difference I think you’re talking about in your poetry. If you don’t have time, that’s okay). Again, kudos on Freshly Pressed!

    1. Great thoughts, and thanks for the kudos. My writing has gone through many stages and my time as a teacher and journalist have removed many of the wild creative flourishes and made me far more succinct. Although sometimes I miss that old gonzo style, I find that my thoughts are much more clearly expressed. We must encourage our creativity (or art) to grow.

      1. Somehow, I don’t feel you’ll really have much trouble adjusting your poem to the new style(s) you find yourself “in.” Something about your poem reminded me a little of the rhetorical style in Seamus Heaney’s poem “Weighing In,” from the volume “The Spirit Level” (apparently a “spirit level” is what in Ireland they call what U. S. people call a carpenter’s level). I find some of the same terseness and precision in your poem.

  24. Ha, I know exactly what you mean! It’s been about a year/year and a half that I’ve felt fairly content with life, and I had no idea how to write about that. But this far in, I realize that my contentedness has helped me delve deeper into the rage and sadness I’ve felt without being cliche or just a rant. It sounds counter intuitive, but that’s how it’s worked for me at least. Keep going, you’ll find your rhythm 🙂

  25. Writer and poet here, too! I can’t say I’ve never been without a muse, but fortunately I’m lucky enough to be gifted with more than one, so when the poems are all tangled up in the fray, fiction usually entertains me. Congrats on FP!

  26. You’re more than welcome to come hang out at my nuthut of an office if you need inspiration — you might feel like you’re back in high school but that could help with angsty poetry;) Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.:)

  27. Last comment I promise: I already found your humour without having to click on the, “Find what you are looking for” SEARCH button. Nice.

  28. Great post and congrats on FP. Maybe you should consider writing from the perspective of others who are not so fortunate to have found happiness and contentedness in life.

    1. Thank you…my mental state is fairly recent, and I am taking it for all I can. Last year was incredibly difficult, and required me to white-knuckle it for quite a long time. We can’t have sweet without the bitter…

  29. Fear not I think your muse is still nearby, hovering overhead,
    for with this post you tapped into her soul and her very being.
    With humor and elucidation this post does bound,
    a skill, a talent or gift it may be, but your muse has not deserted you.

    Congratulations on Freshly pressed,
    your muse is glowing with pride, I can see.
    Filled with words and thoughts,
    ready to tickle you yet again.

  30. Love the ending! Yep, my journals are full of making sense (Ha!) of past heartbreaks and barely a word on my love who I am now happily and easily with…no drama, nothing to write about! (Came to you via Freshly Pressed btw)

  31. Oddly enough I spend too much time both reading books and clicking Like… Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Changes need to be made. (I’m starting to hyperventilate as I am unable to find the Like button for this post).

  32. Words have never failed me, but I have failed them. – I like that a lot.
    It’s nice to see some poetry on FP for a change; hope you’re enjoying the ride 🙂

  33. Dear “Mr. Freshly Pressed” –
    I just started my own blog today and was so glad I clicked on Freshly Pressed. The picture of the journal and the cramped handwriting hooked me – it looks like my journals – and I LOVE your wit! You’re so funny (yet at the same time truthful), I decided that you are the first blog I will follow. I hope you keep that good wit coming! (and of course, the good poetry)

  34. Sounds like your muse needs morning pages, bud. My muse took a hike when I stopped my morning pages to write my blog. Started them back up and she was BACK! 🙂

    LOVE you last line. So honest and real.


      1. Absolutely. I started this blog so I could connect with other great people and it’s truly been a great 24 hours for that. Looking forward to exploring your blog.

  35. Hahaha! Cursed with contentment! I’m sorry for your loss, but I’m glad that the muse was able to visit you another time to make you aware of her going!

    1. Nope, you can set one one on the dashboard. Look for the Feedback option, it’s a drop down menu from there. It integrates with Poll Daddy, and really easy to set up.

  36. Ok Tom, first this is hands down a most piercing, astute and relatable bit of poetry/prose. I will be re-reading I am certain. Second, I found you because you had the kindness to LIKE a post on my baby blog (a blog by an artist and not a writer) so I am so glad you dropped by. FOLLOWing you and your considerable talent now. 🙂 Douglas

    1. Thank you, Douglas! I appreciate the fact that you took the time to come by. One thing I love about having a blog is that it gives me the opportunity to meet artists of all kinds. Glad to have met.

  37. Hey, did I tell I love your blog? I do. That`s why I nominated you for the DARDOS AWARD. I have no idea if you know anything about this award (I have to admit, I`m new at this and I didn`t know it existed), anyway you can read my blog and see what`s it all about. Have a great day.

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