Thursday, June 11, 2009
All Artists Must Be Soldiers:
A Manifesto for Revolt
To all my comrades, revelers and soldiers,
to my posse, my gang, my crew,
to all of you who have acquired higher weapons
to defend the soul in me and you.
To all you uncivilized artists
who paint pimps and prostitutes
diseases and guns
To all you religious fanatics
when you find you have painted the spirit
who had you speaking and singing in tongues
To all you writers who describe all of the battles and massacres
that you create inside your own minds
you are the first to call your hearts bomb-shelters
and convalesce there for periods of time.
To all of you under-educated illiterates
frustrated that your regiment considers you a mess
because when you tell stories of great insight and wonder
you're labeled simple but blessed.
To all of you who were raised on Hip-Hop, Motown and boleros,
-Wagner, Mozart and Bach
was just not your style
it's fine that all your heroes battled by break-dancing
and you hated ballet as a child.
To all the General Theories Of Color
the Sergeants of Anatomy, Sentence Structure and Form
The oral tradition was here long before you existed
and all colors mixed just fine before you were born.
To universities and well intentioned professors
and their masters; Shakespeare and Michelangelo,
Picasso and Dickens
you may find newer, better masters
hiding in corporations,
raising children and eating in soup kitchens.
If you never saw the statue of David
or inspected the hieroglyphs inside the pyramids
gazed at a Matisse or a Rembrandt
a flower or a plant
whatever you create is STILL brilliant and significant
even if someone says that what you just did you can't.
I insist that YOU set your own standard
your own opinion is valid and good
create what you consider outstanding
not what you think that you should.
Study those considered masters
and those masters ignored because they are
marginalized and oppressed.
Follow your highest muse at all times
and put your self-hatred to rest
- but do not for a moment put down your weapons;
your poems, your paints,
your spirit released
through your body in dance -
the fight for your unfettered self-expression
must be strategic,
your art too sacred to chance.
by Tiffany Osedra Miller