Friday, 1 May 2009

Genealogy of the Artist

A disclaimer to my readers: Because I am computer illiterate, I don't know how to fix this--in a Word document, this makes the pattern of a tree. In these too skinny margins, though, some of my branches are bent. Oh well!


In our family tree

We find a multitude

Of characters, a motley crew

I search to see if I share resemblance

To any of whom I count among the giants

If I can spot underneath the microscope’s lens

That the chains of my DNA strands bind me to them

I clearly identify on my face the nose of that surrealist

Bretón, who sniffed something more behind the curtain

Of realism’s staged reality, its mundane props, and its structure

I recognize, from an angle, the sagging shoulders and, perhaps, big head

Of those romantic prophets and seers, who carried the burden of difference

Am I of the same breed of people, the many revolutionaries in these branches

Who believe the artist responsible for both speaking truth and acting upon it

I sing to hear if my voice resembles Dylan’s, if I can speak for my generation

Under my eyes, I wear the dark circles that brand insomniacs, like Okri

Who resists the somnolent hours, standing guard, and listening

As did Rilke’s, my ears hear the befriending of lofty Night

For the most part, though, I see myself in the masses

Of unidentified artists, who namelessly

Continue to create

Day after day









Yet Not


I am all

Of these

As I look

In the mirror

This is what it means

I see, to be born an artist

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