4 Jul 2005

As if from within a flurry of angel wings, I heard a song — that is what I wish to say of where my poetry comes from. But it is as Gustave Flaubert said, “Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.” It sounds so much better in my head — so much better, in fact, before it is ever put into words. That is what many of us would desire to be able to do, is it not? Pour emotions directly on the paper? Perhaps then, there would be no separate class of beings called “artists”... or is it that some of us have such a strong vision, that even when it is hewn by our (lack of) ability to render it in the outer world, something of it still contains a fire from within, and it moves all of us? But I claim not such a thing, myself. My song comes not from in the midst of angel wings’ flurry.

Perhaps it is not even a question of talent, for looking into history, one wonders how many things received as much attention as they did — for these things, however embarrassing to humanity, struck some common chord in so many of us. (And no one, by the way, escapes the zeitgeist his entire life: such a one who thinks he operates outside the time in which he lives operates under a very large illusion.) Perhaps there are many in the world who are van Goghs that never get discovered. I would like to think so. For we are all of us, the best of us, are beating a cracked kettle while the bears dance, trying not to think of the stars while we keep in time. That the stars stay unmoved by our coming or going, whether we made any noise or not. Myself, though: I desire to make the noise.

It may be, ultimately, that in our desire to create, from where it comes and to where it goes does not matter in the slightest. For in those spectacular moments of poetry, when cataclysms of imagery rise and fall, and I wield the word as if it were Excalibur itself, I am immortal. And I need not any validation of this experience, no one to tell me I have lived. Mayhap that is how one knows, in the end, that he has lived indeed.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

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