Defining the Frame

Defining yourself as an artist

what does that mean

you make art?

Or does that mean

the art makes you?

And don’t tell me you’re an abstract artist

you don’t define your subject

why do you define yourself?

Aren’t you so much more complex

than your wildest canvass?

The one you did knowing no one would ever know

what it meant

and you did it any way

and now it’s your favorite

and every one else tells you they like it

or worse

it’s interesting

which means they all hate it

and though your signature is in the bottom right corner

you know you didn’t paint this

God did

the artist knows at his best he didn’t do anything

and at his worst it’s all his fault

I wrote this and a thousand other such ramblings

does this define me as an artist

or just a guy who loves the feeling of typing

or rolling a ballpoint pen across the blank page

like bones

and seeing what comes up

writing is not my medium

I am writing’s medium

though with all the changes to sizes

I am writing’s small.


8 thoughts on “Defining the Frame

  1. Steven Myers

    i always remember a friend who got sent away to boarding school
    for bad behavior. his parents kinda freaked out over dope and his urchin friends.
    anyway, he was always distracted by something else, so rather than being pissed
    at his parents, he started wondering why he knew latin and no one else did.
    he realized kind of quick that he knew latin like he didn’t know how to cut floor tiles
    and that was the end of it. your poem reminds of him, maybe cause he was irish and
    irish bumper stickers are my favorites especially the one, “what you’re doing may seem worthless, but do it anyway.”

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      You’ve mentioned Irish bumper stickers a couple times now. I’ve never been to Ireland, and I never knew they had such a rich culture in bumper stickers. Like bumper stickers written by Samuel Beckett. End Game on the end of the car. Is this a place you’ve been, or, are you just into bumper stickers? The bumper sticker that I’ll never forget was in Brooklyn: Flag burners beware! If I see you burning Old Glory I will stop and readjust your attitude. I have so many questions about that. Like, first, it is a bumper sticker, the flag burners will never have a chance to read the message, cause, it`s on the back of the car. Second, how many flag burners has this guy seen to go through all the possible bumper sticker messages and settle on this one.

      1. Steven Myers

        i’ve never been to ireland, only drinking with irish americans and irish ex patriots. one guy was from county clare. he gave me his address and we talked about there not being a postal code and decided that villagers had to sort through piles of words on a daily basis and this gave birth to fun with bumper stickers since everyone hung around the letter pile and watched passing cars in our drunk talk inventing nonsense.

      2. cottonbombs Post author

        No postal codes reminds of my time in Korea. Teaching at the school, not soldiering in the war, and how the entire country was void of street names. You know the U2 song: Where the Streets Have No Names? That’s Korea. And still the mail gets delivered. But giving directions there is a mess. “Just turn left at the park next to the second biggest tree, not the biggest tree, that’s the wrong way, then go down the road til you see a man in a white hat selling watermelons, not the man in the grey hat, that will take you the wrong way…” I’m not kidding, this is life in Korea and still the postman knows where to go.

  2. Louise Jaques

    You may think your writing’s small Peter, but never let writing possess you unless that possession is twofold – you are always the instigator of your thought and your expression, and it thanks you in return for being so expressed. Hope that makes some sense. This is once again, so very clever!

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      Louise! I love your optimism at creation that, “(I) am always the instigator of (my) thought”. Also, how “it thanks (me) in return for being so expressed”. It is a wonderful idea, but, I humbly disagree. Too often I have written something and wondered where it came from, or read over something in my handwriting that I don’t recognize as mine. Writing for me, at its best, is almost like speaking in tongues, except it comes out clear and unfiltered. Actually, when written like that, writing at its best is like a hyperbolic beer commercial.

  3. granbee

    I really think the words are already out there and they just flock hither and thither into me and roost and nest and hatch and all sorts of feathers and seeds are scattered around and -voila! there is a poem!


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