Ars Poetica

They said coat each word with connotations sweet
Make it bounce off a person, like a sugar high.
Make it mellifluous, and not superfluous
Make it sticky, make it wet, make it work.
I coated my words with honey
And the bees attacked me.

They said string the words lovingly
Weave them like Arachne’s webs
But depict not your words with disdain
But with love, with care, like a mother
Nourishing a new born babe
Whom she knows not.

They said guard yourself, erect
A Ladon for your apples so
None may penetrate, none
May formulate opinions on you,
For true Art knows no Artist,
And you must only make Art.

They said set its sentences to a beat
A tapping of your fingers maybe, so
One may say it out loud with melody
They said give it rhythm
And crows might sing
As a nightingale.

They said make it rhyme,
Two sentences, disparate but conjoined.
Ay ay bee bee,
See dee, see dee.
They said make them rhyme and hum
Like two frequencies resonating.

They said make it echo,
And age as wine, and spread like flu
Through time, through space
Through generations, through death
For Art is ageless, immortal
And you must only make Art.

They said make it short
Simple and true, like Funeral Blues.
Unless you’re writing the Wasteland
Then anything will do.
They said don’t describe the heavens,
When Mother Earth is still large.

They said use metaphors,
Like…, I got you, didn’t I?
They said make a collage
With every piece striking as a whole
But which themselves were luminescent,
Like poets of yore had done before.

Make it pulchritudinous, they said
Mute while still loquacious.
Make it say little but pour
Copious litres of meaning,
In three syllables or more,
But don’t show off your vocabulary.

For you don’t write for yourself, no.
You write for people who know you not,
You mustn’t make it difficult
You mustn’t force someone to Google
For everyone understands true Art,
And you must make only Art.

Words come and go,
And leave only a memory behind,
And you can shrug off the words,
But their memory is like strychnine,
Or like ambrosia, depending
On what they invoke, and
How they linger, and
Who says it.

And I might ignore the darts
The barbs thrown by society,
But the lingering memory
Of what the voices inside me
Say stays, corrupting the fertility,
And unmakes what Art remains.

For Art is ageless and timeless,
Understandable and beautiful,
Melodious and voluminous
Real and transcendental.
True art is frikkin’ awesome
But I can’t make art.

Not that I don’t want to,
And not that Art withholds
Itself from me, for Art manifests
In everyone, in equal measure.
Not that what Art remains
Is curbed, a free bird in a cage
For it flows like the Amazon, like time.
I just can’t.

People will say that this is Art,
My sentences entwine in their brains,
My words harmonise with the universal
Symphony, a quagmire nonpareil.
But for me these words are dead
Redundant, rotten, compost.

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