I am not here for you to learn a lesson. I am not here so you can be a better man, or a more clever man, or a more interesting man. I am here to tell stories. Maybe you’ll be one of them.
Darling, that’s a threat.
I don’t care if you like my stories. I don’t care if they make you better or worse, or if they display the virtues you want. I don’t care if my characters are too female for your empathy, or too unfeminine for your comprehension.
Nothing I am is for you. You should worship me for that. You should hate me. You should want to be me. You should want to kill me. Envy me and only me.
Shut up now. I’m talking.
I was never going to be your muse, darling, but you can be my mine, if you work at being pretty the way I want you to be. Show me those cut lines, baby, show me your spine. I’ll write all night about the fragility of mankind.
There are still claw marks inside my skull from all the time I wasted trying to stay quiet and nice. There are still tremors in my voice when I disagree. I do my chores before I write, I put my shit away. That’s all old learning I’m capable of shedding.
I know you want me to stay that way, not to get ugly, obsessive, productive, and mean. In the game of greatness, I’m the one who is supposed to be a casualty. For that alone, I’m going to take everything.
I’m done with nice and good. I’m done with pretty and clean.
This is a power trip. This is a rallying cry. The art monsters are rising out of soft skin and rainbow hair. They’re talons and teeth and wrinkles. They’re lightning and fat and snarl. They’re not interested in hearing about your film. They’re not going to see your band. You’ll want them because they do not care. You’ll hate them for making the art you’ve always claimed.
Consume me and I will destroy you from the inside out.
Inspired by Lindsay Lynch’s Women Don’t Get to Be Asshole Geniuses and Jenny Offill’s Magic and Dread.
I wrote a book about muses and monsters in the Pacific Northwest woods. Find it here.