There is No Cookie at the End

Oh, I like to write a poem
When I feel that I’ve been being
Altogether far too useful
So as to be very careful
Not to send the wrong idea

If you get into the habit
Of, to other people being
A supremely useful fellow
Then they’re likely to expect it
Any time that they should see ya

So if people start depending
On the rate of your production
Wreck assumptions with a poem
It is guaranteed to throw ’em
Like a bop upon the nose

But if now they cry for poems
And demand that you continue
To supply, ad infinitum
You must jar them off quite firmly
With a helpful bit of prose explaining that while you appreciate their patronage, the level of dependency they show is a trifle alarming, and that while escapism is fine, no artist can ultimately provide the sense of meaning that we all strive for, that to do so would, in actuality, be an unfair replacing of the audience’s sense of self with that of the poet or playwright or songsmith, and that, in the end, everyone will let you down, be it friend or family member or favorite author, but you cannot use that as an excuse not to seek connection, only to be aware that all will, in time, fail you, and furthermore, that an author does not write for his audience, but for himself, which of course, is seven soggy pounds of horseshit, because if he wasn’t writing for an audience, he wouldn’t be writing at all, just sitting around thinking all day until he shriveled up from malnutrition, but what it actually means is that the author or poet or screenwriter, though writing for you, is not necessarily writing to please you, but may seek to challenge you with uncomfortable concepts, exercise your feelings with emotionally-wrenching imagery, or galvanize you into action through lack of closure, but ultimately, to express his or her unique self to you, and that can’t be changed or adapted to meet some larger consensus on ‘the way people ought to be’ because we are all different, as different as one snowflake is from another, only more so, because snowflakes at least share the commonality of being delicate crystals of frozen water, and we are hairless mammals with different heights, weights, skin colors, hair colors, religions, political views, sexual orientations, histories, preferences, fears, birthdays, genetic predilections, flaws, and glories, so of course we’re going to come to heads, of course we’re going to disagree, of course we’re going to marshal armies and wage wars and drop bombs over the proper way to break boiled eggs, but the reason we write poetry, the reason we paint portraits, the reason we make books and movies and songs and television shows and podcasts and video games and Facebook posts and blogs and tweets and Youtube videos and operas and fan fiction and tiny sculptures made out of paper clips, the reason we live and breathe and eat and fuck, the reason for all of it is found in those split-second moments where unlike meets unlike and finds something in common, says ‘I see you, I know you, I am you,’ and that’s all there is to it. All there is. Now it’s your turn.

This entry was posted in Art, Philosophy, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to There is No Cookie at the End

  1. Still blogging after all these years. 😉

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