This morning as I listened to Flamenco Guitar music on my way to work, the thought exploded in my mind that the reason I am a poet is because I’m a scattered mess of an artist. I don’t think all poets are this way; I am not at all speaking for anyone else.
All I’m saying is that there are so many things that I love, that I would gobble up and devour, if I could, if it were possible to ingest every style of music simultaneously, I believe I might try. I have no idea how to dabble in art, realistically. I want to paint murals, sing from a rooftop, write a symphony, play every instrument with passion and conviction, pour myself into a dance that tells a story and breaks my heart, leaves me breathless at the end, and leaves the audience in tears.
I want to take a soul-satisfying long drawn-out drink of a cello, I want to drink like I’m in a desert and this instrument is my one chance to be whole again. I love the cello, I adore the violin, the piano makes me well up I love it so much.
And the compositions themselves, and the composers: I love them all. I love the stories behind the music, the irrational fears that become music and racing hearts and dancing and leaping into the arms of a beloved. I love the artists who chop off their own ears, for who knows why, but all the thoughts and dreams and creative inspirations burning through their brains and shooting like sparks from their fingertips, keeping them up at night, who knows if any of them ever sleep, I love them all. I have an artist son. I know from a small distance what goes into an artist’s heart, all the love, all the ingenuity, all the mile high dreams and concoctions that can spin him dizzy.
If I could, I would embrace every form of art and create a cocoon of bliss for myself. Instead, one by one, piece by piece, I try to share in words what is more beautiful than I can sometimes fathom, what seems to be beyond mere words’ ability to express. That is the quest of the poet, to put in words, what leaves lovers of beauty speechless.
This is what I love about poets – their enormous grasp, their endless ability to mystify. This is why I am a poet – if I could consider myself in their realm, I would reach and grasp, I would leap with my heart in my hands to crouch before you, and with eyes tear-glistened and wide with wonder, I would open my cupped hands to show you the breathless beauty I have captured somewhere out there in the world, my firefly of wonder, my freckle-faced smile, my heart.