On Artists Explaining Their Work

by Jamal Chandler

How does one convey
what must not be said?
How does one say
what cannot be described?
How can one describe
the infinite; the sublime, the wretched.
It is simple
one simply does not try
one lets the word flow
by the pull of the moon
that revolves around the I.

Unveiled Inspiration burns the eye
Leaving one blind
should the staring go on too long
But is that where beauty lies?
Must it be the eye's demise?
No, beauty lies in the Play
of these briefly Dancing rays
Black morbidity and crushing fear
lies purposefully in the lack
But what is the Artist
Before this burning sun
What is this work
that has been forged
with the utmost in careless care?
Why the sun of course
captured by my moon
a reflecting rotating stone
above worldly concerns
many sides yet all true

But Narcissus calls
“Fall, drown within
embrace the depths
of your own Being”

“Do not listen” I cry
“Can you not hear his lies
He is the mirror and thus reverses
the very light you seek to find”

But you jump in regardless
they jump in heedless

“Could you not hear
Did you not believe
that death was all
you could hope to receive”

Why is it that I feel
like I can no longer breathe
watching you floating there
no longer needing air
no longer with a single care
Just by your aspect, your aura
you call the horde to join
because you yet retain
the beauty
as well as the sirens' song
that first sucked you into
the depths so very wrong.
That is the fate
of the Great Artist
who stares at this Lake
Called Analysis

The dread name has been uttered
by my virgin fingertips
We have had our flings
We have had our fights
Both lasting through the flights
of my less creative nights
but all it knows is how to use
and how to abuse
it certainly does not care
about what is right or fair
As it sits waiting, a spider in its lair
I pray to avoid its baneful eye
the dead eye, the blind eye
Must we hear it describe
yet again
that all is either black or white
that all is this or that
“White?” I hear the question
“I thought he was blind”
Yes, of the deepest kind
extolling in the mind
that yet retains the sight
of that which is distant yet most bright
The Thief
The Sun

How is it that ancient Socrates
could allude
to that ancient slayer
of the muse
– the self-deceptive ruse
For he spoke true
though not for the reasons he knew;
the creator has the least insight
into their own creation
for they stand in their own way.
The spider was made to justify
whereas Art sought to slay
man's empty need to justify.

It is the vampire
seeking its prey
among those
who walk amid the light of day.
“You too were once like me
and though I know you may always be
I will not let you roam free.
I live, this lives, that is the key
to repel your undead mockery”

For it sits upon its throne
A King of whores
who gyrate to its slightest whims
to whom they dedicate their hymns
prayers thrown to the god of their souls
which will soon be gone
replaced by unliving heads.
They think that shutting the mind
shutting the gilded box
could capture the beams
they believe slip through the seams
but light exists only when freed.

You fascinate humanity
and thus have a place
but one should not berate
using your flawed base.
With your beastly symmetry
let none procreate.
You have a purpose
this must be stressed
but that lies within your fertile death
for your children are more corrupt
than any child of Oedipus
King and kin of all incest.

The world considers the artist's word Law
Absolute and Final
Alpha and Omega
when it comes to the superficial glance
the public foolishly claims
is the work's sole stance
But who am I, who is my reason
to claim to know the hidden meaning
when it is the heart
and not the faulty faculty
that lingers engraved on the page.

With Reason as a god
Originality is blasphemy.

Fear swings a blade
cleaving righteous indignation.
In hate of hate
In glaring at the abyss
I failed to see what was amiss
that I have jumped into the laughing rift.
But my throat is still safe
from your draining kiss
your suckling of the light and life
that creates empty impotence
This poem... this thing
is the mirror that reflects
your vampiric absence
A monster made to hunt you
A monster made to protect
From your ancient malevolence

I have escaped you
vile scuttling thing
and your presumptuous goring
of my celestial wings
I have made a ladder of words
to climb out
into the light of day
there it is again – that glow
calling to me even in these black depths
I am coming, running – quickly now
I see you, your light, finally, I am –
“It is a poem, and a commentary on the prevalence of Artistry being curtailed and conformed by preconceived and preconditioned laws; that we do not analyze the very thing in the most need of analysis– our inherent need to analyze.”

Jamal CHandler

Contributing Author

Other works on The Blasted Tree:

On Artists Explaining Their Work by Jamal Chandler is a Blasted Tree original poem.