This is when
I assert myself.
And this is
when you try
to convince me otherwise.
So happy I’m deaf!
Do you think
that your Muse is dead?
She is tired.
She is just flat on her ass.
Yes! Dash it all, yes!
She couldn’t bear
your endless snivel,
You, pathetic Creator!
She dumped you, dumbass!
Two talented lines
aren’t worth two wasted years… yes.
Muses can fuck up.
TONY: Tati, have you ever been pissed off?
Tati doesn’t answer. She keeps looking to the door.
Still no answer.
TATI: Huh? Yes, of course. Every time you ask a silly question.
TONY: Hey! All of my questions are individual quests for truth! Don’t be dissin’ my questions, man!
TATI: I’m not a man.
TONY: Anyway, there’s this really cool poem you wrote once. It’s called ‘a Pissed off Muse’. Do you remember it?
Tati looks at the wall clock, then says with a petulant gesture…
TATI: Yes, I do. I’m not such a leaky head. Not like someone I could mention in this room…
TONY: Hey! I only forget the stuff that’s not worth remembering!
TATI: Uh hum… Indeed, why should you stuff your head with nonsense like the due date for our tax returns, or when to pay for municipal services?
TONY: Look, I don’t mind living without electricity sometimes, and since when have we ever earned enough to pay taxes?
TATI: Well, this time I’m going to agree with you.
Tati keeps flitting her eyes between the clock and the door, then glances out the window.
TATI: So, do you really think it’s a cool poem?
TONY: I do! I think it’s bitchin’!
TATI: Uh hum… Well… Thank you, I suppose. May I ask why you recalled it just out of the blue?
TONY: Well, it strikes me that no one ever asks the muse if they even want to be a muse in the first place, and your poem seems to reflect this. It presents the muse’s viewpoint.
This seems to get Tati’s attention. She looks at Tony for a moment.
TATI: Yes. By the way, Tony, did you know that ‘muse’ can mean not only a source of inspiration but a creator or poet also?
TONY: Oh. Really? That… That doesn’t sound quite right…
TONY: Because muses are usually only presented as some kind of insipidly romanticised ‘source of inspiration’ (to use your words). But the whole thing’s not so romantic really, is it?
Tati’s eyes have gone back to the door.
TATI: Sigh. Never mind. Do you have a muse?
TONY: Nope. Why reduce someone to nothing more than a source of inspiration for my creative endeavours? They don’t exist purely to orbit and nurture my every brain fart, do they?
TATI: Not everyone is such an egoist, Tony! ‘Nurture my every fart.’ Many creators take their muses as higher beings, not mere servants of their creative labours.
TONY: I’m not so convinced! I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of muses are mere extensions of their creators’ egos, and therefore not considered to be the higher beings you sugge—Hey! Are you listening at all? I said ‘my every brain fart’, not ‘my every fart’!
TATI: No. I don’t sleep.
Tati shakes her head, as if to clear it, then continues to give the door, clock and window her full attention.
TONY: See?! You’re not listening!
TATI: Not at all. Pardon? Oh, of course, you have my undivided attention.
TONY: Are you sure? I’ve been talking to your nape for the last bleedin’ hour!
TATI: I only wonder if we can talk about something else…
TONY: Okay. Fine. What would you prefer?
There’s a knocking at the door.
TATI: Wait! Do you hear that?
TONY: You bet your sweet bippy. I wonder who it can be?
Tati starts to fuss around a bit. She goes to a cupboard and pulls out some slippers, then runs to the kitchen to brew some tea. When this is done, she brings out a huge pile of fresh newspapers and tosses them on the table.
TATI: Okay, could you get the door, Tony? I think that may be for me.
Tony answers the door. A huge, glistening penguin wearing a monocle and biting down on a pipe enters the house, brushing past him like he’s not there. It waddles towards the kitchen, its pipe leaving a trail of soap bubbles.
TONY: Oh, of course. Now I understand who serves whom, my Dear Genius.
TATI: Hush! Don’t piss off the Muse!
over a city
slips out of cloudy brassiere
shamelessly. It’s hot.
TONY: Wow. This poem’s as hot as I feel!
TATI: Really? Kewl…
(Tati sniffles. Her nose is very runny and red.)
TATI: Ahhh… ahhh… AH CHOO!
(Tony wipes himself off.)
TONY: Lovely. All. Over. Me. Thanks for that.
TATI: You’re welcome, Tony.
TONY: Could you maybe sneeze upwind in future? Anyway, let’s discuss this poem of yours. It’s called ‘Sunhibitionism’.
TATI: Yea… AH CHOO!
(Tony wipes himself off again.)
TATI: Sorry. That was upwind this time.
TONY: Good freakin’ god. It’s like sitting next to a sprinkler.
(Tati gives Tony a helmet.)
TATI: Will you ask me after all?
TONY: About the poem?
(He puts the helmet on.)
TONY: If I can just get a word in with all this projectile snot flyin’ about then yes, I will ask after all.
TONY: What made you think of equating weather patterns with the imagery of a woman bending over?
TATI: It was a cloud. Its shape reminded me of a bra… ah CHOO!
TONY: Thank the very Christ for this helmet.
(Tony wipes his visor off.)
TONY: So, do clouds often make you think of women’s undergarments, Tati? Are you some kind of pervert?
TATI: What? Of course no! If a cloud looks like a teddy bear, will you accuse me of liking bestiality too?
TONY: Well, I don’t know what kinkiness goes on inside your head.
TATI: Tony, are we discussing the poem here, or are you trying to fish out my hidden desires?
TONY: Oh, so you do it with fish now? What a sicko…
TATI: Are you going to discuss poetry after all, you freaking pervert? What about my use of imagery, metaphor, and meter? AHHH… CHOO!
(Tony wipes his visor off.)
TONY: You’re sneezing on me on purpose now, aren’t you…
(He takes off his shirt and wrings it dry. Tati sniffles.)
TATI: Dear Readers, because Tony is being extremely objectionable today, let me take up the reins.
TONY: Says the woman who sprays everything with mucous.
TATI: It’s a shadorma.
TONY: Is that what they’re calling it these days?
TATI: What’s that?
TONY: Snot. Shadorma. Must I spell this out?
TATI: Oh, hell. No! It’s a poetic form. Not what your sore fantasy suggests. And if you dare to call yourself a poet, you had better learn some theory!
TONY: Theory? Damn. Then I guess I’m no poet after all. I hardly know any theory when it comes to writing my poems.
TATI: AH CHOO! By the way… do you know? Whenever you say something and someone else sneezes at the same time, it means you are telling the truth.
TONY: I guess it’s confirmed then. I’m a hack.
TATI: Oh. Don’t you want to say, “Bless you?”
TONY: You’re like a cat, Tati. You always manage to land on your feet no matter how far you fall. I’m pretty sure you don’t need a blessing!
TONY: Are you sneezing again?
TATI: No, it’s a broad hint.
TONY: To talk about the actual poem, yes?
TATI: Hallelui… ah… ah… AH CHOO!
TONY: Good grief. Okay, so if the sun is like a nipple, is that why we’re often dissuaded from looking at it? It’s too rude, so we might go blind if we do?
TATI: Of course. It’s so mushy little boys like you, Bubby Tony, can continue to play with their toy soldiers… and don’t hide another issue of Playboy under your pillows.
TONY: Are you saying I’m too immature to appreciate your poem?
TATI: Yes, I think so. You’re focused on details and don’t see the whole picture. It’s like you giggle at the nakedness of Venus de Milo, or David. Or poke your finger at Madonna Litta. Ahhh… ahhh… AH CHOO!
TONY: So, is this a commentary on society’s collective shame regarding sexuality? Is that what you’re referring to here? And since when did you begin comparing your poems with the works of such masters? Not that I’m saying your poems aren’t worthy of scrutiny…
TATI: Oh my god! Really?! Was I able to drag you back to the main point of our discussion?
TONY: Hey, I’m perfectly capable of have an intelligent conversation y’know!
TATI: Says the man with a helmet on his head, and sprinkled all over with mucous shadorma!
TONY: Excuse me all to hell then! I’m off to have a much needed shower…