Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why I Am Not a Painter

Well, I've gotten over that bump. No more feeling sorry for myself--sure, I miss Dublin, but I brought about a year's supply of tea home to keep me company.

Lately, I've been thinking about my post-Emory plans...a pretty scary thought, but I have to do it. No more sitting idly on the couch! Now, I sit on the couch and do research on my laptop. It's an improvement, right? Only kidding, I do get out of the house once in a while. Anyway, I've been trying to figure out what's doable and what's not, and whether I'm even good enough, or worth it, to go and get an MFA in poetry. Today, my mother tried to convince me that I should become a personal shopper. This spurred me into action. I AM going to write. I'm going to take the GRE this summer, and I'm going to resume the writing schedule that I gave myself last semester (a poem a week, no matter how terrible it is). I'm going to write a kick-ass thesis, and then I'm going to get my MFA.

This poem by Frank O'Hara pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject (why am I going to do all of these things? because, I can't NOT do them. i can't NOT write poems.):

Why I Am Not a Painter

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
"Sit down and have a drink" he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. "You have SARDINES in it."
"Yes, it needed something there."
"Oh." I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. "Where's SARDINES?"
All that's left is just
letters, "It was too much," Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven't mentioned
orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES.

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