This poem is a mini-manifesto on art and the artistic process; hopefully, inducing some inspiration and incarnating some guidance. Surly, art can be enhanced by rarefied skills. Still, art at its core is a work of heart. Art is democratic in a sense; anyone willing to dance with desire and possibility can cast a vote. Art is abundantly fair in that you can vote early and often in this existential dance called life. Ultimately, the whole of our life is our work of art. Of course, critics also abound. Those who can’t do, teach; those who can’t teach, criticize. We all have areas of our lives where doing, leading by example, being the change we want to see in the world, devolves into mere teaching. Further, we all have areas of our lives where teaching devolves into mere criticizing. Some don’t even have the passion or self-awareness to even choose what they do, and instead of living, their life is lived for them by the forces surrounding them. The freedom in creating art is bound by certain desire. As certainly, our desires and passions are unique, not identical to any other. In expressing our unique selves and perspectives, art is both intensely personal and inescapably social, an expression of our experience as one in many. Some claim that all art is about God. I think this means that all art is an expression of our experience as one in many and our relationship with the whole, the One, of which some call God. Of course, many artists are reluctant to speak of God directly, often for very different reasons. Some view the One as unspeakably beautiful and speaking falls short, even more so than our tentative art or lives. Some view any formal relationship with God, often referred to as religion, as a source of unspeakable horrors. I suspect that the views on this are as diverse as the art and artists daring to ponder such stuff. Neither this poem, nor my rantings, are intended to serve as some ultimate guide to political correctness, though my life inescapably expresses a particular perspective. While this poem is not overtly political — a little unusual for my poems — I tend to view artists as inherently political, mostly because artists make lousy slaves.
On a different note, some may wonder if the names I use in my poems are based on real people. Sometimes they are; usually they are not. I tend to select androgynous names, both as a way of avoiding sexist complications and as another way to pack two meanings in one. Authors often write about what they know. As a man, I often simply write from a male perspective; thus, I more often choose male characters. Of course, sometimes I choose a character’s gender in a way that challenges dominant gender definitions and stereotypical views of masculinity and femininity.