all in the service of art

this nervous running and rubbing,
gargling and popping of eyes,
fingers racing up and down, legs twitching,
coffee-coated tongue and smoke on grey teeth:
all in the service of
yellow-stained thumb pressing down again and again
until the colour stays
– where is it where is it
i knew i had it here –
the glue, under the papers? fell in the garbage?
give him more wine, red, bulgarian, and some ouzo, too, all in the
service of
so beautiful …………..
it will mesmerize people for centuries …

this is a poem i wrote a little while ago, remembering the times i spent among artists who’d sometimes put everything – their lives, their bodies, their relationships – into the service of art. and the aaahhhhh seemed to go along with that. the aaahhhh of the high that comes with working frantically on a piece of art, the aaaahhhh that accompanied some of the art production, the aaaahhhh of completed work, the aaahhhh of admiration. it’s a sigh, an exclamation, of bliss and relief, of being high, and of being in tune.

and no, being high does not need to equate being in tune. or for that matter, being high does not need to equate being high on alcohol, drugs, caffeine or sleep deprivation.

at the same time, i cannot condemn artists who alter their minds in that way. i can’t pass judgment.

all i can say is that i’m not wanting to go down that route (although sleep deprivation still seduces me once in a while). that i can’t live anymore with people who travel that path. and that i’m there for people who want to stop these practices, or who want to at least explore what it would be like to stop them.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

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