6/14/20: The Artist is Brilliant; The Man is Small #poetry

6/14/20: The Artist is Brilliant; The Man is Small #poetry

The Artist is brilliant

The Man is small

The Artist hears everything

and listens to no one

clear and brave and not confused

full of wonder and as large as the universe

The man is solipsistic

hurt, doubtful, angry

burdened by petty slights

frustrated and dissatisfied

The Artist reflects

The Man obsesses

Yet let us praise small things

The Artist is glorious

The Man is admirable

The Man clears away obstacle after obstacle

so that the Artist can run free

The Artist luxuriates in solitude

The Man worries there

The Man takes care of business

and makes a thousand mistakes

The Artist is perfection

The Artist brings peace

The Man is struggle

The Artist is wise

The Man is in pain

The Man is courageous

He refuses to avoid any agony

The Artist’s canvas is the fruit of the man’s labor

The adversity of every provocation of the world

is the Man’s ordeal

and the Artist’s opportunity

The Man fails at all that he should have been

so that the Artist can proudly be what he is.

I’ve always known that everyone is not an artist.

I read it once or twice and then observed it’s true

It has taken me longer to understand that everyone is also not a man …

Not men doing what their fathers want

Not men competing with the others

Not men playing out proscribed roles

written for them by master planners

dull and dead

feelings reduced to sentimentalities

off-the rack insights

cowards, really

never tuning out the dictates of the world

in order to really perceive it

and their unique nature

Thoughtless, insensitive and cruel

animals really, these Not men

surviving or Not by dint of their fitness

winning and losing

achieving nothing

lives of quiet desperation

sound and fury signifying nothing

never taking the next step

until they are incapable of doing so

suffering from atrophy of the soul

divine impulses engender sclerotic responses

Not men feel vague occasional pangs of longing

which they ignore

and over time simply accept as their fate

and the acceptance makes it true

A Man

on the other hand

is always anxious

a flame of dissatisfaction gestates in his belly

A Man tends that flame every day

and the inspiration explodes from within him

A Man is only a host

for the divine

a most humble vessel

for the manifestation of …

For a moment a Man is sure-footed and secure

serenely aware of the stupid and unreliable structures created by the Not men

and the perfection of Life as created by …

the pantheons of gods who live furtively and sluggishly and impatiently and expectantly

inside the Man

Man’s labor transforms into God’s song

and then the cycle repeats itself

Grace and awkwardness.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas







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