Tradition tells us that muses are angelic creatures who descend from clouds, or drift like smoke through an open window — while my muse is a guy who walks into a bar. But we take what we can get, right? The sources of poetry are too uncertain for me to refuse any gift, no matter how unlikely the messenger. By the same token, a poet usually has to accept the form and scope of the poem as a given. One dare not say to the muse, “Thanks for the epigram, but really I was hoping for an ode…” If we refuse the gift, it may not be offered again.