Ars Poetica In Five Parts


What raises a brush to a canvas —

the hand, the heart, or the head?  Or

do you think the brush
is instead held by Another,
by God or Muse or Trauma?

See that statue of the war hero? 
Who is it for —

the single viewer wondering
at the craft that led to
the smoothness of the stone, or
the entire village where it dominates
and shades the central square?


Another poem
that is nothing but questions — 
lazy as a dog in August, lazy
as a good old dirty rug
on a shack floor.  


Who is this for?
Who am I to think
I can write it?

Is this a product
of my arm
or does my sweat
come from trembling
whenever I think 

it’s all been simply a mercy
shown by the cosmos
to a bad little man?


Another reader,
another patron,
another mouth
to feed —


and what do you do
when you know

that no matter what you do
or how you get it in front of them

your poem or sculpture or painting
is once more a failure
in some important way,

mostly because
you are?

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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