saturday, february 16

i think we frequently value artists
for our perception of what they are
more than it matters to us what they have done

some few accumulations of the creative act
seem to stand on their own even while
knowledge of their authors becomes the cartoon
backscatter of history
most work of any power
vanishes or becomes incomprehensible

examples multiply
only to fall away in series
ars longa is seldom true
even on the scale of a single life
and it approaches certainty that you will
never know the work, let alone the name
of the greatest artist who ever lived

modern celebrity and its discontents,
the cheap excess of criticism and theory
all the failures of humanity expressed on
the cover of a rolling stone
these are the pathological index of
purely human motivation, need, & hope

actor, singer, poet, politician —
if we love or desire in the realm of art
if we feel kinship or identity
even in the dead electric dreaming of this age
it's often the unborn moment
the trajectory
the possible act
that move and shake us
not the shape of a single artefact
but the movement of persons

and perhaps the idea, however illusory
of ourselves as motion and making,

shapers and seers of a world where
we're neither numb nor entirely bound
to the order that is given.