In the name of Art

When all my ambitions and desires die,
when everything in me ebbs away,
and I am merely a hollowed vessel that floats along the coast
– I shall cease to be human.

When all my beliefs and fervor fade,
when everything I was is but a distant mist,
and I am merely a branch of driftwood, brought in by the tides
– I shall cease to be human.

When all my sentience and hunger hit the rocks,
when everything I did is long forgotten,
and I am merely splinters washed away
– I shall cease to be human.

I’ll be wood and wind and water.
I’ll be sand and salt and sun.

But as long as there is poetry in my lungs,
and my lips cling to it like a teething child,
I shall walk along the beach
and swim in those finite waters,
I shall write and sing and shout
that I am human
and claim myself
for myself
in the name of art.

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My Heart, My Life

My Life

~ I’m not going to cry all the time
nor shall I laugh all the time,
I don’t prefer one “strain” to another.
I want the immediacy of a Greek tragedy,
its cathartic stab to the heart, the hollowed out,
redemptive exhale. I want to be
at least as alive as the spirit of poetry.
And if some aficionado of my mess says “That’s
not like her!”, screw it! “Screw you!” I
don’t wear brown and grey suits all the time.
I wear men’s shirts and make coffee barefoot
often. I want my skin to be nestled against,
my feet to be bare,
my fingers employed, and my heart —
you can’t plan on the heart,
but the better part of it is closed off to the world. ~

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My Heart by Frank O’Hara

I’m not going to cry all the time
nor shall I laugh all the time,
I don’t prefer one “strain” to another.
I’d have the immediacy of a bad movie,
not just a sleeper, but also the big,
overproduced first-run kind. I want to be
at least as alive as the vulgar. And if
some aficionado of my mess says “That’s
not like Frank!”, all to the good! I
don’t wear brown and grey suits all the time,
do I? No. I wear workshirts to the opera,
often. I want my feet to be bare,
I want my face to be shaven, and my heart–
you can’t plan on the heart, but
the better part of it, my poetry, is open.