by Jack Morgan
All of us are sluts complaining about being sluts
Making the sign of the cross
to bless our bodies
with two fingers that reek
of holy smoke
and engine grease and brackish
pools with dark bottoms
and explosive devices
Down your throat where you like
it to be
because coming and going is one and the same
and the same reason you left that roman candle
tied beneath that bed of yours
next to the ligatures
and my signature at the bottom
next to the x
on the spotted line so I could
kiss it like the king of kings.
I wrote that poem in February of this year (2007). I don't know if I like it anymore. The reason I am putting it here now is because around the same time I wrote it, I was breaking up with a paramour of mine. She is a poet who is currently on the east coast enjoying cold weather. In March, I read it at a reading, and later, it was published in the Switchyard Journal. I had hoped that we would remain friends after we stopped seeing each other, but when this poem came out, she thought it was about her, and I somehow became her mortal enemy. I was crushed by this awhile. I am still somewhat upset about it, really.
The thing is, people really want you to write poetry about them, I think. When you write it, people think it is about them. Every poem I read is about me. Every poem I write is about me. Every poem I read and write are about you, too. People love to get upset about poetry. People cry about it, they laugh about it, they shout about it. Isn't that why people love it?
This wasn't the first time, nor was it the last time that a relationship of mine fell victim to poetic effects. It's happened because I am a visual artist, too. If you don't paint a girl's picture, or paint a picture for them, or write a poem about them, or write a poem for them, you are hated as if you had done all of the aforementioned. You're really quite screwed either way.
Dear lovers of all ages and times,
Please do not expect to be a muse. The more you expect it, the less it will be true.
Please do not expect artistic gifts from artists. It isn't fun if you expect it.
Please don't think that a work of art is about you or anyone you know. It probably isn't.
If it is about a person, it is only a small parody of one component of their personality; please see Bakhtin. No art can truly represent a real person.
If you are afraid to have a thinly veiled but very public life, don't date an artist of any kind. Do not fall in love with an artist if you are afraid of anything.
In conclusion, do not fall in love with an artist if you expect anything artistic, have any fear or paranoia of any kind, or do not honestly and whole-heartedly believe that the artist you love is trust-worthy and the most talented person you know.
P.S. If you love money or things, i.e., cars, clothing, shoes, jewelry, do not fall in love with an artist.