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POEM: Muse, Inc.

Listen to this poem using the player above.

This was prompted by a small contest over at the Poems Out Loud blog.

Muse, Inc.

Nothing happened.
I mean it, nothing.
I’d put my blank pages in
the Amazing First
Book Creating Machine
and pressed POETRY
on the display. I’d
driven to this bowling
alley in Duluth – all the
way from Plano, Texas –
because I’d heard that
Ginsberg and Olson
and Creeley and Ashbery
all used to bowl here
once a year. Scholars
always wondered, why Duluth?
Why bowling? No one ever
thought to check the Out-Of-
Order stall in the men’s room.
No one until me, that is. And
there it was. The machine
they’d all used to create their
first books. Howl, Le Fou,
Call Me Ishmael, Some Trees.

They’d all come out of this stall.
But when I put my pages in,
nothing happened. I mean it,
nothing. Maybe the machine
was broken?

Published in Audio Poems My poems Poetry


  1. Poets, in toilet stalls? Hard to picture. But I happen to know that Ginsberg was simply mad about bowling; or at least some aspects of bowling which, out of respect for the dead, I will not enumerate…

  2. I am not sure I want to picture poets in toilet stalls. Fun poem.

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