Make Art, Not War

Saturday, April 30, 2011

the Eat Street community garden

Hurray for Spring!

Today was the spring work day at my community garden, and it is the first time i have been by there since last fall! I love my garden (Look! Meet my little green friend!). How I have missed that small plot of dirt. And of course the yard that surrounds it. It was a pot luck and it so much fun. It was good to see everybody and meet the new folks. With the plot comes the community, and honestly, I am happy to be part of that. Most of them I see at the co-op, or elsewhere in the hood because, well, we're all from around here. Its nice to share food with like-minded people and talk about neighborhood events and such. I had a lot of fun.
I am really excited that our garden is going to become a non-profit this year, and we are going to really make an effort to build a community among the gardeners. There's going to be a weekly social hour, and i cant wait to see how that grows.
Oh, indeed, how does your garden grow?
As for my little plot, I am happy to see the return of my bleeding hearts bush!!! I transplanted it last year, and it didn't do so hot. So, I was hoping for a comeback this year and the little guy is doing it! I am inexpressibly happy to have bleeding hearts in my garden. Of all the beautiful things (and it is definitely on that list) they are my favorite flower. And what better place for them then in a community garden? For everyone to enjoy?
I want to grow other flowers too, this year, and some herbs and some dino kale, and then I don't know what else. I want to get better at gardening too, but I'm not sweating that.
To quote May Sarton
" Gardening is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself."
I want to learn by experience. I want to improve by degrees, enjoy the breeze and take it easy. It feels good to get dirty (or in this case, muddy because it rained on us the whole time we were out there). Looking forwards to all the out door fun. Happy spring everybody.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The most beautiful things

I have decided to write the most beautiful poem I have ever written. I was out walking around the lake, listening to Laura Viers (the song is called "make something good") and the line that really struck me was simply "and it's ganna take a long, long time."

How true. A person's life's work is usually a combination of everything else they have done, but also it is something they have been slowly putting together over the course of their whole life, shaping and perfecting it with their years of experience. I want to begin that process. I want to start drafting the work I will write and rewrite until it is my legacy.

And I want it to be beautiful.

Recently, my painter friend and I were discussing our art (specifically, the why's and how's of its creation) and we both agreed that making beautiful things is its own end. What is important in this life, is what we love. And appreciation for the things we love, is what gives us energy.

That is what I want this poem to be about. That is "what I make art for". I write poems for all sorts of reasons, and on all subject matter- not all of which are pleasant- but my best work is in this vein. If there is a single motivator for creating art (for me) it is beauty.

So, I shall begin by creating a list of the most beautiful things I can think of. The most beautiful thoughts I can articulate, the most beautiful emotions I can express, the most beautiful experiences that i can possibly convey... this will take time. But the idea is to start somewhere, and see where it leads. It is important to always be envisioning the future the way you want it to go. So, I'm putting this out there...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

creative constipation

The poem did not reveal itself to me.
Instead, I got a letter, a syllable, an unidentifiable shape of a thing
and then nothing
but a wanting
a deep ache, a frustrated inability to communicate.

It was a lump in my throat for days.
Every time I tried to say something- something else- it was there
stuttering. Every time someone would ask me how I was,
it was suffocating me,
flicking at the back of my neck with its finger.
I was considerably distracted.

The poem did not ask to be written.
It was unsympathetic to my struggling with it,
and it would not be treated like a hassle.
For something that must be- for the sake of my own life-
it would not go easy on me.

I thought 'if I can just give it time, wait it out' but no.
Pushing it away like that only made it worse.
Like a plaster cast left on too long
that itch that drives the wearer to the brink of madness
this poem would not wait for me.

So, I got shit faced and staged a break up.
I said "I've had enough!
When push comes to shove, you only want more!"
"Yes!" the poem said to me "And you will give it!"
And that was all.

I sobered up and found a pen.
I fumbled through a first draft
and then I laughed at what I'd written.
I decided to get back at it by giving the poem a silly name.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011