Saturday, August 14, 2004

a note on the artist's life

THIS MORNING I AM DRINKING coffee from a cup inscribed with the Mandarin Chinese character, Double Happiness, as Frankie Beverly's tenor shines through Maze's "Golden Time of Day" like rippling molasses. You might imagine this to be akin to euphoria - that today my head is in the clouds. And it is in the clouds, but not in the way you might think.

Today is only a cold blaze of whiteness ahead. I can't even see tomorrow coming. If I am to be completely honest, I quite possibly do not want it to come. The black taste of a sinner's blood embitters my mouth. For the first time in my life, I kneel at His feet, considering asking the Captain to stop the vessel - to let me off the ship. Right here. Travel no further.

He convicts me before I can even consider. I am His son. His blazing eye washes my thoughts as an unholy scroll.

This is the journey which you chose to walk, He says. There is no turning back.

Just beyond the cloud, in every direction but one, rages a riot of suns waiting burn me alive. This much I know. A slow yearslong burn - my illusory eyes, lips, flesh, all melting away as a pointless mirage.

In this ephemeral blaze, all I have is the mark my Soul leaves as it is burned into the Earth: What will the critics hear worth preserving in my struggle against it - what beauty, what elegance, what immortal art in my futile resistance against this inevitable return to ash and dust?

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