In Pull Yourself Together: The Gena Rowlands Poems (Dancing Girl Press, 2106), Amanda Deutch reminds us of the current and historic importance of the muse. Something draws writers the page, painters to the canvas, and musicians to their instruments. Sometimes it is subtle, sometimes urgent.
A self-proclaimed cinefile, Deutch stayed up into the early morning hours watching 70s films and drafting her pieces. She unlocked the smallest details to show how they can be pulled and opened into something much larger. These details draw us, perhaps because of memory or an analogy that only our subconscious could decipher. But once we are entranced, we are forever connected with the piece of art or media that pulled us outside of ourselves.
It is always the way the cigarette/
hangs from your lips in each movie that makes you look a little bit tough/
and compels me to keep watching you move. You hold it just so, smoking/
with no hands. You search your pockets and purse for something./ Always searching.
Keats saw the delicate etchings on a Grecian Urn, Deutch saw something in the way Gena Rowlands inhabited characters. Maybe they both saw an authenticity in art--the way it can both reveal and produce vulnerability.