Another "poem"

Everyone in Iceland is talking about a performance "artist" who has placed himself, naked, in a plastic box and is living his life on public display for two weeks or something. Everyone can watch him on a live cam as he eats and sleeps and poops and pees and explores other bodily functions. The debate rages about whether or not this counts as art.

My response to this extreme interpretation of artistic license is not particularly strong. I find it uninteresting and lacking in imagination, since it is extremely literal, stripping man down to his animalistic base. We have left that animal base so long ago, I am not sure I see the relevance of reemphasizing it now. Art ought to have an element of social critique to it, and I am not sure I see the social critique in this particular performance, unless it is anti-technology? Then why broadcast it on a webcam? Is it just irony?

Anyhow, if the definition of art can be stretched to include that, than the definition of poetry can definitely be stretched to include my non-rhyming descriptive paragraphs, I think. To wit, I give my readers another one of my non-poetic college days pieces of poetry.

He was there, I knew he was there the whole time. Behind me, to my right, he sat. I looked straight ahead, but I saw everything he did. Each time he laid his head down, each time he shifted in his seat, I noticed. Waves of heat hit me, each time his right hand grabbed his left ring finger, slowly removing the band of gold there, and then putting it on again. When he stood up, I knew that too. For five wonderful days, my mind kept track of every place I saw him, even now I can tell you exactly where he sat on the long wooden bench in the hall. And on the last day, at the train station, I searched for him.

Comments

Skúli said…
Mér finnst þetta ágætt ljóð.
Jono said…
Does art need to have redeeming social qualities? Long ago I took a class called Philosophy of Art taught by a man, who along with his wife, had translated all of Soren Kierkegaard's writings into English. After a semester of intense debate it all came down to a Latin phrase that he taught us. De gustibus non est disputandum. I didn't see him for twenty years when he showed up at the place I worked. I threw that quote back at him just to show that something had stayed in my mind after his class proving that nearly anyone can learn something and retain it.

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