2/22/21: A Quiet Passion (2016) — Ogres Avoided and Dragons Slayed, Paradise Preserved #poetry

2/22/21: A Quiet Passion (2016) — Ogres Avoided and Dragons Slayed, Paradise Preserved #poetry

Reminder … my poems about the movies are not about the movies …

Slay the dragon “Thou Shalt”

If you are an artist you were born happy

and possessed of a sure footed balance in the pursuit of the sustaining and expanding of that joy

Happiness never escapes criticism

Misery loves company

Cowards wish to hamper the bold

It makes them feel better about themselves

The story of the crippled poet is a rationalization

for those who have failed as human beings

The artist is born ancient

The hard won wisdom of all of the past ages of mankind

are natural endowments of the newborn artist

Immaculately conceived

in a moment of un – conflicted love

by all that is pure and innocent in humanity

The artist’s parents saw Eden at the moment of orgasm

and then returned to their confused and fallen natures

The art child remained with (at least) one foot in eternity for all of his or her days.

An artist is a proverbial “old soul”

beyond desires for achievement and success

The process is the purpose

The careerist never really does anything

Only the artist can create something new and needed and appropriate to the moment

The artist takes what comes and is where or he or she likes

He or she may joust with the ogre achievement and his wife the bitch goddess success

But eventually he

or she

simply walks around the ogre and the bitch

They remain dissatisfied with the artist

and throw fists and insults his or her way

fists and insults that once brought great pain

now bring sad smiles

The artists’ accusers suffer in prisons

and claim that they live in mansions

Is dishonesty a symptom of addiction?

Is mankind drunk?

Does the human race think it is on the road to fulfillment

while it reels in a stupor

mistaking desperation for joy and passion

while self -destructively bringing itself harm

and destroying its future

before being finally sick and hungover

broken and waiting for death

terrified by the truth

unable to face the reality

of its abdication of responsibility

it’s choice of murder suicide

over love and life?

The artist is denied support by his or her critics

who jeer “who do you think you are?”

“What gives you the right to be alive?

“To love?”

The critics will give no support

but the artist is safe and secure

carried by unseen hands

a dollar

a friend

an audience

an idea

they all arrive

when needed.

The Lord is my Shepherd

I will not want.

The artist follows the authority of his or her soul

and that soul relays to the artist

the Will of God

and God furthers his or her purposes.

Enough with past critics

I’ve processed them all

My anger was from an invasion of boundaries

How dare they tell me how to live my life

How to work

How to be

It was an invasion

a perversion

a kind of abuse

the bosses, the cliques

Society is a bad father

Bullying his children to do his will

Society tells us its hectoring is for our own good

but really

like any bad father

the motivation is the father’s pride …

The artist’s rebellion turns into integrity

The bad father’s sin

paradoxically serves God’s purpose

The sin is a forge

which shapes God’s vessel.

Like Emily Dickinson

I want some approval before I die

Not approval for performing society’s immoral missions

It’s cultish worship of death

Approval for my work as the world’s equal

In dialogue with the world

Life is constantly procreating

I want part of the world to acknowledge my love affair with it

And I am certain that acknowledgement is near

I have always received the job, the money, the friend, the love, the experience that I have needed

precisely at the time that I have needed it

My consciousness rolls forth

my dreams and my waking mind are one

I know that my chance is near

I am speaking of something far different than achievement or success …

Emily Dickinson suffered

She contained herself

protecting her gift

never leaving her family home

frustrated by her obscurity

and her lack of intimacy with a man

but fierce

in her poetry

All that sacrifice for art

Only after her death did Emily Dickinson’s writing reach wide audiences

Her sister found Emily’s body of work after she died

and the sister shared it.

While she was living, she shared her work with a few friends

and had a relative few poems published

Emily Dickinson wouldn’t compromise a punctuation mark in her poems

As you can see, she is one of my heroes

I intend to have the satisfaction of recognition of my work while I am living however

I ask God for what I want and need and he gives it to me

God listens to me

Emily Dickinson needed someone to share her poems

so do I

she couldn’t do it herself

nor can I

I don’t know how

I can’t write them and disseminate them at the same time

But I will not do what Emily Dickinson did

and hide my writing in a drawer

only to be found by my next of kin at the time of my passing

Someone will find them long before then

I am sure of this

My prayers are answered

I publish them on a blog

two birds with one stone

Sharing with the friends that all poets need

The kind and open souls who listen

and …

just as importantly

my words aren’t hidden

The worldwide web is not a drawer

The poet must be solitary and alone

(An artist is a hemophiliac — intense sensitivity creates easy bleeding … an artist’s partner must love the artist and be wise to the cruelties of the world — an artist’s partner must protect the artist and surgically transplant the artist’s words only in the regions of the world where they will not be rejected, for the sake of the artist and the world)

and his or her words

must be far more outgoing.

I write this poem as a prayer of abundance

I know my partner is walking toward me …

There are people whose art is planting the seeds of artists in other fertile souls …

Art doesn’t compromise

in order to fit in …

Art travels on odysseys

in search of where it fits …

Poetry fits in the open fields

beyond the silos

Each social grouping builds a silo

hierarchies and power structures

that have disdain and indifference for all of the other hierarchies and power structures in the other silos

business is a silo

the professions are silos

art institutions are silos

academia is a silo

families are silos

social cliques are silos

silos, silos, silos

all different

feeling superior to all others

but in essence the same


all claiming to be better than nature

and better than God

all full of shit

In the fields beyond the silos

solitary persons wander

occasionally gathering in groups

and warming by a fire

It is near those fires

that my writing will be read

My words will resonate in the solitude of a thousand hearts

and all of those hearts will vibrate toward one another

in humming harmonies …

If you don’t do it this way you never create anything you never come up with anything of value …

I never wanted a career —- I pursued this from the beginning.

Copyright 2021 Richard Thomas  

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