Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 232 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis






To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art

                                                                                         CHARLES BUKOWSKI

There it is, in a nutshell. The simplest of phrases and the most damning of lessons. Look around you! Look at your peers, those you have a personal association with, those you don't. Who has created something that has made you uncomfortable? And why? Was it simply because it brought a little discomfort into your consciousness? Or were you looking at them, that deep in the crotch fear of castration discomfort blazing, and asking yourself, "Why must they insist on walking out there so close to the edge? Why fly right into the face of convention, taste, moral boundaries? Did she have to say 'FUCK'?"
Ask them why they chose to write, paint, or film that something that raises great welts of discomfort on your sensibility and they'll probably just shrug. They know that if you're asking you probably don't get it. It's not a chosen destination. It's not even a point to arrive at. It's the journey they're experiencing and illuminating up there before the crowd. If you haven't got the guts to step off, you need to stear clear.
It is art because it is dangerous and, because the rest of the lockstep world will not attempt it, it becomes noticeable. It is beautiful because it embraces the ugliness and declares grace and humanity in its midst. It need not be a horror to the eye, but it must slap the heart full-palm with a vicious truth that will not be denied.
It can be the love of one person for another in the face of certain abandonment. The soul shrieks, but knows that there is no other course. It is pain endured stoically and with resolution. Striving even though the last moment is within sight and there is no salvation in this realm.
Or it can be that silent individuality. To quote Bukowski again:
            I have seen dogs with more style than men,
            although not many dogs have style.
            Cats have it with abundance.
How many of your peers have the aspect of the vast majority of dogs? They are constantly looking to some master for that signal of accomplishment and love. They pull the eight hours and never look up or just say, "Screw it!", and walk out one day. While the cat may chose you to be a companion, it never admits your mastery. It might share half a mouse or gopher, fresh killed in the garden, then swat you, claws intended, for petting in the wrong direction.
Have you taken something to the spotlight that was done strictly to please you? Have you risked the loss of the mob's approbation, the chance of being not quite one of the group, to say what was really inside your darkest corner? Have you just once not given a good goddamn about what the reaction was? If you have then good for you! You've discovered a pair of balls - and that's the largest portion of style. The smaller is being able to look the bastards in the eye when they come for you like the monster in the tower, all torches and pitchforks, and smile. They were dead in their skins long before they lynched you, sweetheart.
 It is simple affirmation
Embracing frailty
Standing before mirrors
Face covered in lather
Looking like some bloodshot
Santa Claus
Ten minutes a day
Except those
When the shakes were so bad
Suicide would have been a
Natural result.
Something of such consequence
Should never be accidental
Never reduced to such banality as
He was cleaning his shotgun
Didn’t notice it was loaded.
I have
And this should now be
No revelation
Stood in morning steam
And pressed hand to handle
To feel the easy parting of skin
Watch the first red trickle
Rivulet on cheek
Or chin
Or throat.
Shaving with steel
Is a concise treatise
On the existential.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis

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