The Poet Considers His Muse

So complete was his post-coital bliss instead of a cigarette he grabbed and started smoking the Number 2 pencil he kept at bedside for writing in his journal.

"Describe my lovemaking," he asked. "Is it a villanelle? A pantoum? A sultry sonnet in iambic meter?"

She yawned. "More like haiku."

The poet smiled. "Yes, haiku: the ancient Japanese art of brevity and nature." He grabbed his journal and his old Cross pen and began writing. "For you, my love," he said, and he showed her the journal, seventeen syllables scrawled in three jagged lines across the otherwise blank page.

Our supple bodies
Dance like meat in a blender
Set to dice and chop.

He read it aloud, and waited for her to smother him with gratitude, praise, and perhaps even a blowjob, but she held silent, rubbing her eyes as if something painful had lodged inside her tear ducts.

Undaunted, he kissed her elbows and massaged her toes with the tip of his nose and soon they were at it again. Why not? she thought, her libido fueled by a can of Red Bull and the looming tragedy of her fortieth birthday.

When it was over, he reached for his journal once again, eager to turn their passion into verse yet flummoxed by the need for a graceful rhyme for orgasm. (Cytoplasm?)

Finally he surrendered and called upon the masters to arm him with the perfect phrase. "Are you a rose? A virgin maiden in Spring? Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Yes! A summer's day, warming the winter of my love-starved soul."

But she hated the summer, with its humidity, brownouts, and roving bands of angry mosquitoes. "I'm done," she said, and she fled the bed and threw on her dress, a sleeveless yellow jumper that he compared to a banana peel with a long, sloping neckline.

As he searched for a final couplet to seduce her anew, she searched for her keys and her black silk underpants, both errantly tossed but safely found among the dust balls beneath his four-poster bed.

When the door slammed shut, the poet mourned her departure, their coupling end-stopped instead of enjambed, yet a fine provocation for an epic poem on the slippery slope of desire (which rhymed with fire.)

And inspire.
The poet picked up his journal and began to write.

About the author:

Chuck Augello lives in New Jersey with his wife, dog, three cats, and several unnamed birds that inhabit the backyard. His work has appeared or is upcoming in decomP, The Dark Comedy Review, Word Riot, Rattle, Pure Francis, Splash of Red, and other journals. His spends his days in a cubicle, slowly plotting his escape.