Artist, writer - About as verbally graceful as a drunken dock worker.
I write poetry like a 16 year-old Patti Smith wannabe and (in spite of myself) can once in a while will say something quick-witted and brilliant and far out of date.
that primordial glue that sticks
to the nerves of every adult unsure of their youth
clutching tattered belongings too old to be cute
or scraped to death
chipped and abused
righteous to find the hidden moments behind
a clockwork of nostalgia still too ripe to deny
that we’re all a ceramic figure
sitting on the same IKEA shelf
either waiting to be understood, or to be packed away
for another warm day
in the hands of a future we
never quite used
black and white stockings buried deep inside the dresser drawer
tagged on an adolescence reciting guts and miming dolls
not shamed enough in bedrooms to counteract the public toll
of pirouetting revolutionists praising bongs and Nico whores
they say “Excuse my misplaced manners but i’m afraid we aren’t the pack
of creatures you’ve been looking for — your bark is much to flat”
a cough a drag a pinch
of fabric swept away inside their faux moleskins
each face a cluster of cystic acne (smelly drop-out Rembrandt kids)
the beacon broke it’s blacklight and i’m left standing in the dark
a modern day romantic too inexperienced to play the part
a greedy teen without the means for public domesticity
if you need me i’ll be in my room – call me down when dinners ready
“Visual art and writing don’t exist on an aesthetic hierarchy that positions one above the other, because each is capable of things the other can’t do at all. Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating.”
-William S. Burroughs
There is a delicate crane dance to self-expression, language, and the visual intercourse artists will spend days, sometimes even their whole life, trying to capture. There is no guide book to inspiration. You just do. And the quicker you learn to kick the rear-end of your brain cells into action then the quicker you will catch up with inspiration, without wasting your afternoon on the corner for the bus to come. There is no art school, no after school program, no thousand-dollar scholarship that can teach you this. It is an exhausting, often mentally stabbing uphill climb. It is not romantic. The amount of self-pity one will put into themselves is as disgusting as pubic hair in your salad, or a centipede laying eggs inside your pillowcase.
Separating writing and visual expression is a blessing, and at times feels like nothing more than a cruel, cruel Grecian God curse. But in my small, timid, fairly inexperienced experience, one trial of error does alleviate the other.
There will always be certain moments I can articulate better in one media more than the other, whether in stuffy text or an obscure line doodling on the back of a restaurant receipt, but rarely are the scales ever balanced. One medium will never trump the other — In fact, the more I express my many fanciful dream sequences in a vomitorium of verbal sewage the more visual I become, and the more I train my eye in color theory then the better I am when needing to articulate it in the next scene. Everyday I become more of a director than a writer. An architect rather than a painter. One talent may come natural but the other will cause me to spend the rest of my life trying to outwit the other; a point which I hope will never come, because to be honest, I don’t think one could bare to live without the other.
Anyway – Here is a look at some artwork I’ve been accumulating these past few days since I took an unplanned two-month hiatus on anything involving ink bottles and repetitive cross-hatching. Alas, I am back at work (digitally, this time), but my drive still feels overheated so most of the stuff I make is staying in the garage for work.
Related (see below): ‘Northern Exposure’ just invaded the list of one of my top favorite television shows, and if you have not seen it before, fix that. Seriously. Like, go out and buy it. Steal it. Whore for it, because it has some of the best television writing I have ever seen and it’s been like an old, crotchety yet humble professor to me in my recent adventuring in screenwriting. You won’t regret it.
This year is starting out just fine, and now that a few traveling plans are in the works I feel very determined about everything else in my life. I even hemmed a shirt the other day, and believe me, that’s progress even Congress would applaud.
Among the cold avalanche of opinions in this fictional world we call the ‘internet’, I, for one, believe that resolutions are for complete and total hacks.
Putting goals off in November with the excuse ‘There’s always next year!’ is an ill-executed (not to mention lazy) way to think. You may not even get a next year, for there is always that chance you’ll choke on a turkey bone at Thanksgiving dinner, or get run over by a an irate relative who had way to much rum in their eggnog.
Why do we do this to ourselves, anyway? Why do we set goals knowing that we have a whole 365 days to pretend we still care? Most of us forget what we had even promised ourselves by day 47, as we plunge deep into another sugar-coated coma of ‘exiled’ dietary goodies, or neglect the duties to renew a dusty gym membership crying as an unused plastic tab on your key chain.
The point is, humans are not machines, and we beat ourselves up daily for the one ability we excel at the most: Failing.
So as we raise our hands in an oath to cut-off, take-up, or just-try-once, remind yourself that we can’t do everything to our hollowed hearts desire. Don’t worry about the have-done’s so much as the actual doing part. You’ll thank yourself, your friends even more, who are sick of you talking about Crossfit when you haven’t gone to a single session yet.
For those of you who do aim to fail, fail beautifully and repeatedly – Because if New Year’s resolutions were a race to lose, we would all be winners.