Taking poetics as its base, this paper explores emergence in a constellation of disciplines – semiotics, teleology, and the complexity sciences. In whichever field it is studied, emergence is always Janus-face. I argue that its two aspects, directionality and originality, arise from accidental patterns. Poets have always taken seriously the meaningful effects of coincidences, often attributing them to their Muses. This paper reverses that move. Rather than attribute the cause of coincidence to an intentional being, intentionality is shown to arise from efficacious coincidence. Here, as in Juarrero (1999), emergence is equated with intentionality. That is, unpredictably creative but also self-directed, emergents seem to have minds of their own, and the future of emergence studies depends upon naturalizing this mentalism. Using Peirce’s theory of the emergence of grammar as a guide, I show how mentalism can be understood in terms of animating semiotic interaction, which depends upon accidental patterns.