mona gamil
I can’t afford to buy the ink,
The fucking paper’s fucking expensive,
And the fucking taxi’s a fucking thief,
The street is fucking full,
The fucking air is fucking dull,
My fucking hand is fucking dry,
By the time I’ve sweat the piasters to buy,
The fucking artist’s materials.

What’s more…

The fucking galleries
Are fucking boring
The fucking curators
Keep fucking ignoring
The tens of artists at their doorsteps drawing
The eternal queries of life…

And is the struggle worth the art?
Does it matter? It doesn’t work.
I might as well be a bank clerk doodling, dreaming,
Of winning the lottery.

And here’s a laugh, I haven’t a ticket.
Haven’t sent the portfolios, the proposals, the digits.
I can’t do the piles of files, the budgets,
the spreadsheets,
the dreadsheets,
Drag my way through the grudges.
Can’t walk
For miles
Through aisles
Of ass-kissing curator smiles,
That’s what snakes and scorpions do,
And I didn’t go to fucking business school,

I wish I had…

Maybe then I’d be that clerk,
Take pride and pleasure in my work,
And maybe not, who gives a shit?

I’d give my hours to the powers that be,
And faithfully watch that lottery,
I’d meet some girl (because of course, all clerks are men),
She’d marry me ’cause we’d be getting on by then,
Maybe, we’d settle down and have a son,
If mother nags enough, we’ll have another one
A girl,
With keen eyes, steady hands, and curiosity.
I’ll advise her not to take this “art” too seriously:

“Keep your hobbies to the weekends, keep your dreams ajar,
Just enough to let you think of what you could have been, not are.
What you could have been is broke, and much like me, my dear
You could have been an artist, and a woman, heaven fear…
that.
But it’s alright, you’re in the clear.
Sleep deep, sleep low, keep your ticket, hug your doll…

On second thoughts, forget it all…

Forget everything I said,
Be an artist, the smartest, biggest ASS there ever was,
Fuck the luxury, the lottery, the tickets, and the dolls,
When you can’t afford a canvas, or a paper, or a pen,
Write an angry fucking poem
About how you can’t afford them.”

Mona Gamil

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