Happy Earth Day! I hope all of you are enjoying the spring weather and being mindful. In the spirit of that I was chosen to be in an exhibit at the Greene County Council on the Arts (Catskill, NY). “Off the Walls: From Junk to Art” The guest curator was sculptor Willie Cole and the theme is recycled arts. Appropriately the opening reception is this evening 5-7pm. This show will remain up from today (April 22nd) through May 27th. I hope you’ll have a chance to visit the gallery.
There’s a kind of strange journey creativity often takes. Especially in abstract work (I suspect). Years ago someone introduced me to this poem. Immediately I loved it. In such a simply engaging written moment Frank O’Hara managed to describe the experience that I could not find words for. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Why I Am Not a Painter
by Frank O’Hara
I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,
for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
“Sit down and have a drink” he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. “You have SARDINES in it.”
“Yes, it needed something there.”
“Oh.” I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. “Where’s SARDINES?”
All that’s left is just
letters, “It was too much,” Mike says.
But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike’s painting, called SARDINES.