A Poet's Mind returns with Chapter 7 of Alex Ness's insights and original poetry. Alex takes us down memory's past with subjects such as Maus and forward to "Future's Créativité!"
Source: Alex Ness
"My mother refused to read the graphic novel Maus because it was a comic book and she thought that all comic books were stupid."
In the 1970s I met Christians who refused to believe that there was music that was both in the genre of rock and praised Jesus and was made by Christians. They believed that rock and roll was “of the devil”. Rock and Roll was therefore of only one kind, and that was secular.
I have met artists who think poetry is boring or worse, that it is not art. And they refuse to read it. They think it is beneath them to read it.
But whatever the person’s intelligence, or outlook, religious belief, or creative talents, art is art. Format and genre, style and substance, are all part of the whole. I am not talented in drawing or painting, although at one time I might have had more talent in those areas. But where words are concerned, while I do write prose, and I can lay out sequential scripts, it is that my words flow easily from my soul as poetry more so than either prose or in sequential scripts.
The point of what we do as artists, of image, of word, of sound, of clay or rock, is to present an image or idea and make the viewer, reader, listener, or audience experience something different. If what we do does not do that, there is a part of what we’ve done that is missing. To comfort or bring discomfort is great, but bring a new thought is the ideal.
I’ve met artists who are nearly functionally illiterate. But those artists, without an ability to write have art that is beyond truth, beyond intelligence and beyond knowledge, and their art is absolute perfection. However, I’ve met poets who do not understand punctuation and that is not nearly the same. Poets should be aware of the conventions before they abandon them. We all make mistakes, of that I am surely aware, but to be blind to punctuation and grammar is to risk being misunderstood, when the point of poetry is to deliver truth.
Who is the creative talent? I believe we are all creative inside. I do not believe that we are all equally creative, or similarly creative inside. I am a Christian, and, I believe in a powerful God. My belief is, we are given the desire to create, either through procreation, art, desire to build and design architecture, even to change the way things look in the world we live, to reflect the role of God. We are created in the image of God. God created. We seek to create. If you disagree that is fine. I am not going to debate, it isn’t my point, I simply see everyone as having the ability to add to the world through the abilities they have, and I believe we are all given gifts to create.
We do not all desire to create equally. That is the issue that challenges so many. People fear having their work being seen. They do not want to have their product being judged. They do not wish to have a debate about the quality of their song, sculpture, poem, comic, painting, or the architecture of the building. But we are born to create. And that is our destiny. We are meant to create. And I believe it is what we are supposed to be doing.
The poem today is about the future, about what we all face.
Nemo me lacrumis decoret dare neque fletu celebrare exequias volutabantur
They will dress nicely
To keep warm and to be respectful
And during the procession there
Some will be strong
a silent look upon their face
During the funeral some will cry
Because they see life as all there is
But they are wrong
Wasting those tears collected
in handkerchiefs made of finest cotton
There is more, I cannot show them
I am only human
I cannot tell them, words alone cannot transform
I only know from knowing
That leaves me torn
There are cemeteries all across the horizon
The land is filled with bones
The ravens and crows fly above
The sky is dotted
But when I die I will not be missed long
Because little in this world matters
Little in this world is remembered
Dead flesh passes quickly
Words are forgotten
The only way in which we matter
Are the way in which we love
The way in which we care
We are temporal, and made of dust
The spirit is eternal
The flesh will die
It is rotten
Which will you trust?
By Alex Ness.
*Art credit Henri Rivière
Maus by Art Spiegleman