Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taming the muse

Muse this as we ride the ancient skies like a herd of buffalo across the dusty breeze of seven incarnate thieves between here and eternity and back again back again as the water’s fine water’s thrown many of us have said and it’s the pilgrims again into the night into the bleeding night as we ride like wild horses into the night and this is how they say it but I don’t believe it is true that the Muse is a woman and you entice her to give you her gifts of inspiration so you can achieve greatness in poetry song and dance but I don’t believe it is true because it sounds like a romantic relationship between a lover and a suitor and she’s no whore selling her wares but I can’t see beyond the shroud of imagination so it all sounds like some male-dominated bullshit to me like what happens when a woman wants to become a great dancer and seeks the help of a muse is the Muse and the dancer lesbians in this movie and maybe so maybe this is the way it is but I don’t think so I don’t think so I have a different feel about it but that’s not where this is all going as this is about the death of art of creativity of failed attempts to tame the muse in the midnight in the midnight as we wonder into the fields at night and pretend to not notice the wildness that surrounds us and each culture has a story about the origin of creativity and all the cultures and all the stories are correct and a true and accurate account of how we got to be so crazy and used this crazy wisdom to transform our lives into something new and different and it is very unwise to diss another culture even if I don’t think that my understanding of the information I have at hand is true because all I have to do is consider the story of the Muses in ancient Greek history and remember that those stories got handed down through a lot of translators and there’s the rub that someone establishes that this poet or that playwright is the greatest of his peers from Ancient Greece but we don’t know if that’s the way that they felt about it because we don’t have a lot of critical reviews of poetry or plays to go by all we have are the few works that have survived over time and we have no idea of what didn’t survive so it seems really stupid to me to assign greatness to that which we do have and the fact of the matter might be that the greatness is only in the ability of that work to survive because it was so bad by their standards that it got tucked away and never accessed again and that’s how it survived but God forbid that anyone suggest that there be anything greater than what has already been established as greatness and so we have this idea of a muse and we have this idea of creativity or we could go with another culture and say that spider woman brings us the songs poems dances bead work baskets weaving knitting and so forth but after a while the point isn’t about who brings what but the start of it all and the wildness and sense of freedom with the relationship with this source of creativity and we dance and sing to the new energy brought forth by the lyre poem body movement ancient or fresh off the press and over time the artist starts to cater to the tastes of the patrons like the soothsayer who tells the King what he wants to hear to save his own neck and who could blame him really but the artist starts trying to tame the muse to feed the wealthy what they want to hear see feel to reassure them that they have the power to delegate what the muse offers to humanity and as the muse starts to see the desecration of creativity the muse starts to seek a new co-conspirator in the work of creativity and after a while the artist dries up with new ideas and starts to recycle the previous work as an affirmation of the power of the wealthy to dictate creativity and thus the Muse is never tamed but rather moves on to new artists willing to ride the wild horse across the night sky like a night mare of untamed unbridled raging into the wind and storm and beauty and insanity and it is said that the Muse will drive a man mad or even a woman because we’ve already established that there is no gender preference in creativity but the challenge always is to ride and never be thrown off in the darkness of the next wave of fresh ideas and the real scope of it all is the challenge of the artist to never try to tame the muse and damn the rich old farts that sit around looking down at the rest of us like their shit don’t stink and give them the power to destroy a great ride like the muse is an untamed horse riding across the night sky I said that already and the proclamation underneath all of this was that once a friend told me that I would be a great writer but I needed to clean up my writing just a little bit and if I would let him edit my work then he would show me how to achieve that greatness and I ignored his offer because the truth is that it is easy to go back and correct the mistakes like spelling errors and sometimes it is okay to rephrase something this way or that but the fact of the matter is that a lot of times this is the way that it came to me and I’m not going to mess up a great relationship just to please the anal retentive word wizards that don’t have much to say but say it with good craft and are jealous of those that gained the favor of a muse and write like there is no tomorrow damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead into the midnight and I leave this to reader to decide with a few quick examples but nay that isn’t the answer it takes all of it the full breath and scope of it really to decide but here’s a good place to start with a few examples of poetry and art and ride like fury into that good night amen a-ho!

Oliver Loveday © February 22, 2012 5:45pm EST

Meat Dreams

This is a long stream of dreams
They collide with my
Broken prism of reality.
The dreams of sex,
            Sadist, homosexuals,
            Fauns, and beautiful virgins,
            (worn-out whores)
Tools of the trade
Pornography without flesh

The Meat of the Soul
The truth of God’s visions
I am pure.
The dreams are my heaven.
A glassy malfunction
Of creativity while standing
In the hollow glaze of
The crystal sun.

Oliver Loveday © July 1975

(The above poem was written on newsprint in ink.)

Floating Past

The clouds are empty beside me
Cold Mountain is the opening to nothing
When I take the next step, I anticipate falling through

Oliver Loveday © 2012.02.18.2:00am EST

Sketch from February 1976
3 works in progress, February 22, 2012
A close-up of an index card being prepared for mail art, February 22, 2012

Another close-up of one of the index cards for mail art, February 22, 2012

A work in progress, on calligraphy paper, of ink and yellow ocher watercolor, February 22, 2012

 For more information on my art work, poetry, and writings, as well as links to my music and videos, visit my website, Loveday Studio.

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