Write, paint, they say;
also, stay away.
Do what you haven’t done;
do it alone.
Break open your inner star.
We will watch you from afar.
Learn, teach, and entertain —
this is all that remains.
Stay clean, stay safe,
and then create —
as if the dirt and risk of living
were never themselves a source of life.
As if an everyday touch of death
was never as vital to me as breath.
I sit and stew and stare
and think of how far removed I am
from what I need to be myself:
to be again the Work itself.
Still, the danger’s out there
waiting for the unprepared.
Here I am, and there’s the world.
I stay enclosed and safe from all.
They tell us all: create and play.
I don’t know how to do that.
I’m terrible at safety, at risk-free art.
Free fall’s better for me by far —
but somehow, though it all feels more like death
than any danger ever has,
the cloister here is less sanctuary
than prison and I am weary
of such long and sterile days;
I stew. I stare. Nothing for me to say.