Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Always within reach of your dearest weapon


The worst thing for an artist is total freedom. ~Federico Fellini

Sun Held Captive In Dying Light

Never trust a writer who claims to tell anything but the truth about himself. He is a fool with a fool for a fool’s friend. My mythology does not change as often as I would like it to. I must remain quite busy stealing and inventing new ones. Is there something immoral about this? Don’t we all do it every day of our lives? We make families that love and despise us, claim membership in the grand dysfunction of what it is to be truly human. We hold ourselves as example of what to do and what not to do. We find ourselves reflected in places, on surfaces that serve to constantly remind us we are the briefest thing being.


The mayfly lives a day and is born to laugh within the first minute. We live some years and forget how for all that living while the world laughs in echoes we lose along the way. This is the way of us. Dancers sit before us, coiled and kerned with possibility, the sheer tyranny of their stillness integral for embracing such eloquence. What more must I do for these lies to make me who I am? Shall I love you, rub cumin and olio di oliva into the basalt that veils your soft bones? Shall I curry disfavor by way of your perfect disapproval that all I’ve told you was built of balsam and beer, light and frothy unto wretchedness, unto the end of my days and the blessed beginning of life without me to foul or corrupt it one moment longer? I may matter more when I am no longer attainable in the usual manner, when ghosts commandeer smoke for their own purposes, vapors smear messages across faint skies meant only for you to misinterpret, thrown out for you to steer wrong-starred toward some destiny that was never meant for you.

Omens and great blue herons may alight to visit for some moments, leave you with answers you labor to engineer questions for such as what is water trying to tell me, and how long will that owl wallow in such harrowing sorrow. Never trust a poet who claims to write anything other than the truth about you. He is to be kept always within reach of your dearest weapon, for as long as you decide he is to be kept so. There are some things in this world worthy of change. You are no different in this regard, nor the writer, nor the poet, nor the sad dancer who sits her chair as if the center of the sun were held captive in her dying light.

Joseph Gallo
November 23, 2008



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