Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Artists, In Love.


Art Credit.


I dare you.

Pull out the journals, buried under slumbering literature, on your bookshelf. Flip through pages bereft of sense, but damp with sorrow and memory. Wince at the crappy poems you’ve penned for men and boys who’ve never bothered to read. Finger the paragraphs of first moments, in between, and heartbreaks.

Blame him.
Blame yourself.

Blame the kiss on your neck during the first brush of red paint. Wish the acrylic shade, rose, didn’t bring about his shadow.

“Let me be your muse.” He jokes.

He will saunter by your canvas; unaware that the game he plays is hazardous. Mixing your art with pleasure.

Now every time you encounter that painting, his fading love will travel down your spine and shudder at your feet. Every time you sing the song, he inspired, your voice will crack with tears. Your bestselling piece at the gallery will boast his glinting shoulder snapped through a lens resembling your hazel eye. He will beckon your name in black and white.

Woman.
Artist.

You are not alone.

Too often we are wrapped in the warmth of a man who no longer exists. Ghosts of our past are always dwindling nearby. An artist’s love is a potent one. I’m not saying that systematic love isn’t hard, but there is a difference between a waning recollection and an effervescent reminder. We are guilty of leaving our tears in the form of solidity: A mural, a stanza, a bridge. It’s harder for us to forget.

Page 1: We spent the better half of our union yelling in cars amidst I-95 and the smell of the southern air. I didn’t mean to bruise your ego; I just wanted to save you from the madness of city. I wonder if the walls of the hotel rooms below the Mason Dixon Line can talk.  I hope they’ll never tell our secrets. The anger seeped into the next room. There were sirens and the police believed that we used nothing but our voices.

Page 2: Kick flips and ollies. My chocolate board tumbling underneath my feet, we rode the pavement free. But I was like a sister. When I leaned forward to kiss you for the first time, you told me so. I was all tremble and shake and you were still.

Still.

Only after the embarrassment faded, years after I’d bloomed abandoning braces and spilling belly; this is when you wanted to love me.

Page 3: I still dream you. You were truly my first love and I was never a cheater. Until you. How do you give away your life at twenty? How do you marry someone you were unsure of to begin with? How do you tell them, now that they’re confined to a sick bed? You couldn’t hold me the way you used to, we couldn’t go anywhere, and it was hard for me to enjoy myself knowing you were home staring at a distant wall. It happened by accident. Men can smell when your relationship is suffering, when your wings are clipped and you’re yearning to fly. I was grounded and he offered ascent. Are you livid? Do you regret as I do? Are you too hoping that you aren’t truly that inhumane?

For an artist, remembering is relapse.
Unavoidable.

The pages of my collected journals mock me. They are no ordinary notebooks. They’re created with care, somewhere in China, and handpicked post a leap in my heart after sighting. Every design reminds me of an era.

Often I’m asked, “Why don’t you just get rid of the ones with all the things you’d rather not remember?”

& I shudder to think that Basquiat could’ve trashed anything that reminded him of Haiti, heritage, and his father. I wince at Junot removing the chapters that are reminiscent of his torture as a teen. I’m uncomfortable knowing that Gordon wouldn’t have immortalized any women who reminded him of his past wives.

We are eternally bound to the things we construct when we are melancholy by virtue of love.

Stuck. 


2 comments:

Christina said...

This is how my first chapbook is coming to life. I can't imagine forgetting, but I can't imagine going back. As a writer, it is my duty to deliver these confessionals because after all is said and done, after breaking, after loving, all I have left are my words. Unlike most people, an artist lets love haunt them out loud.

Tammy Manning said...

You write beautifully.