Un-Artist’s Manifesto (Penned Over Lettuce Wraps and Orange Tea while Big Band Boomed in the Background) by Tawni Vee Waters

If you want a serious Artist (with a capital A), do not come looking for me.  I will not weep into my bourbon, bemoaning the perils of genius.  I will not fall to my knees, begging an oven to suck my pretty red head.  My final act on this planet will not be fellatio with a pistol.

     If you want stuffy, secretive, sensitive, detached, look elsewhere. I will not tend to my image like the keeper of some prison camp garden, yanking out dandelion’s fuzzy, yellow perms, eliminating all signs of real life.  I will not plant my seedlings in orderly rows like Nazi troops.  I refuse to wear a turtleneck.  Even if I was a man, I would not sport an Edgar Allen Poe combover.
When I want to dance down the street at midnight with margaritas in both hands, I will.  After I spill, I will kiss the homeless man “sorry.” Take a snapshot.  Call me a whore if you wish.  I will let you.  Say I am common.  I am.   The same way oceans are common.  The same way stars are common.  The same way common watermelon rinds, when you see they way they go from green to white to pink, remind you of the womb of God.

     I will never allow myself to believe I am better than you.  My gift is no more useful, or noble, than the bricklayer’s when he builds homes from nothing at all, or the grocery store clerk’s, when she rings up cereal for the mother of a grubby toddler, and smiles just enough to make the woman remember she had a name before “Mom.”  Do not talk to me about dignity if by dignity, you mean dreary.  Is there anything more dreary than an artist who takes herself seriously?

My art is one of a million blossom blooming on the vibrant stalk of my life.

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