i do not take this cigarette and place it against my lips for no reason i’ve seen the sterile coffee shops restaurants and office buildings i’ve felt the suffocating cleanliness of a bright and cheery world this realm of “clarity” and activity brims with over-anxious sympathies artificial lights with nothing to penetrate it is the life that is a lie feigning decency deploring the darker shade of life i do not accept this smoke into my lungs except to maintain to preserve a sense of self not yet commercialized nor sold to the highest bidder to protect myself from the rays the drowning silence of nonsense to make it through the day participation is suicide it is the death of conviction, hope, and dream i do not want to be a quitter and surrender the one shield i have between self and senselessness.
it is sad to think of what we as appreciators of art have become. an essential link has been lost… the artist.
if this book is ever found at some later date when i have received some kind of recognition for writing, it is likely that several of the poem-like entries will be removed and considered on their own. it is this very separation/removal/picking apart of my work that destroys its very organic nature. art, in and of itself, is like a window, or a light, intended to reveal something else. art is a tool. it has been made out of things, the sum total of which are arranged to resemble something else. art does not stand on its own as Heidegger supposed. the art can never be separated from the artist and still retain its sum total of meaning and purpose. art only has value because its value is based on or derives from the value of the artist. art is the artist’s expression. all that is made artistically gives evidence of the artistic passion and talent of its maker. without the artist you have no art.
without the meaning which resides in the being of the artist, the art expresses nothing and in fact does not even exist. even if the art is expressing its creator’s feeling or belief that there is no meaning, that very idea of “no meaning” becomes the meaning of the art. what is my point? my point is that my writing and any other form of art i may produce is to be considered art only because i made it. it is my art because it reveals me. i said earlier that we as “appreciators” of art are miserable people because we prefer to accept the art as independent and separate from the artist. things get to be elevated above people, at least in some sense. we want to separate the art from the artist for several reasons, not the least of which is our fear of losing precious art because it was created by depraved, “bad” or undesirable people.
if art is linked to its artist, then a bad person would presumably create bad art. what is the real issue here? what is the problem? could it be that we are willing to discard the people in a desperate attempt to retain the thing? we don’t mind writing some person off as immoral or pagan. we just don’t want to lose any artistic contribution if it has found favor in our sight. this situation is not actually my complaint. my complaint is that i will not accept future readers discarding whatever they choose of my work because it does not fit their definition of art. take it all, or don’t take it at all. it’s that simple. i don’t want to be appreciated in part. i would rather be unknown, mostly because i already am. anonymity is not so bad. misrepresentation and misquotation, however, are unforgivable.
reach out. grasp that sensation again. the lure of inspiration. the heavy lungs. brain tingling. mind sharp. images crisp. thoughts clear. retreating from all contact with reality to express the brilliance of solitude. only in isolation do the perfect words come. how do they know? at the point when everything seen could either be real or synthetic, and it wouldn’t matter. tomorrow will be plain again. not so bad. not so exciting. a painful tradeoff. sanity for boredom. take one and accept the other. a soulish gurgle spurts out resistance to normalcy.
“this is my life…and it’s no longer worth writing about.” once the noise has ceased. the voices gone. the stillness grows. the nakedness looms. exposure…so this is who i am. now that my thoughts are my own…who am i? no one telling me what to think or believe or desire. no one telling me who i am or who i should be. as the noises quiet, i am alone. a solitude more expansive than previously imagined. the comfort of propaganda has been stolen. my vices abandoned.
what to do…what to do. it could be more than i ever pictured because i couldn’t see past the cloud. the wispy smoke. the pounding drums. the whining guitars. the brainwashing infomercials. put it all aside. quiet. or maybe some Bach. either way, it is a brave new world to conquer. and i am just beginning.
the rarest flower still stands despite an endless drought.
she, a beauty
beyond words and without comparison.
she drinks the sweet dew of evening
she bathes the cracked and dusty land with her tears
bluish hues and tones of red adorn her desert palace
permeating her soul with comfort and warmth
once more she weeps in ecstasy at the beauty of isolation
the hills mourn and stars cry out
with awe, she groans from her overflowing heart
though she sighs every so softly
she need not worry of expressing her desire
her existence, her inescapable beauty
nourishes, satiates, satisfies the land
what once was weary now knows no suffering
but for the lack of her smile
this rarest flower
fresh, unfaded, and flourishing.
written by Daniel Dessinger to Heather Alger
i see you. lost in a sea of people. looking at the ground. avoiding eye contact. yet watching everything as each new day unfolds. feeling so alone. so different from the rest. hoping desperately that no one will notice you as you really are. doing your best to blend.
you hide behind a face you think they want to see. or at least are comfortable seeing. they seem so satisfied with their lack of reality. as you try not to rock the boat. wondering if they could ever possibly feel as you do. maybe as they lie down to sleep at night. when there is no one around to impress. maybe then they feel the same.
day in and day out, you watch the show. as one person tries to convice another he is happy. it seems that to admit the truth is unthinkable and unforgivable. for maybe if just one person were to expose his or her emptiness, the sky would break and stars come crashing down. so you remain silent.
you burn to pour out all that churns inside. but no. they couldn’t handle it, you tell yourself. and even if you tried, would you be able to express so much? insecurity digs a deep channel in you, as you scold yourself for not playing the game as well as they do. for they seem so convinced that this petty stuff is what life is all about. and so you remain distant. an impassable gulf between you and them. in this you are miserable. yet in this you feel safe.
lost in a sea of people. looking at the ground. avoiding eye contact. day in, and day out.
October 5, 1999