Poetry by Farah Lawal Harris

Art Failed Me


art failed me.
i held so many high hopes for art
that when i finally reached the top of art’s slope
and slipped,
i realized that i was climbing a shaky mountain,
not a solid volcano waiting
to erupt;
i was entering an empty house of dominoes
begging to be provoked.

i loved art,
but it failed me,
forced me to become more than
a spectator and practitioner
and tricked me into being
an indentured servant/slave/disgruntled worker/
disillusioned mate
infatuated with a partner
that ejaculates before i am satisfied.

art failed me because it does not produce
unless i get off my caboose
and do.
art failed me because it made me cry
the last time i was so inspired at what i saw
that i not only asked “Why?”
but “What can I do?”

art failed me because it stepped into my life
right when i had gotten chummy with the idea
of mediocrity.
just as i walked into the tattoo parlor
ready to ink the word “Normal” on my skin,
art busted in
and picked for me an indecipherable,
permanent symbol instead.

art failed me because it pointed out
the specks of dust in a seemingly perfect,
white world;
dared me to look in the eyes of people i’d rather ignore;
invited me to evaluate the very essence of my being
and be honest with my scoring;
summoned me to settle the score with myself;
instructed me to know myself
and walk with that knowledge.
i wanted to float in ignorance,
swim in the bliss that comes when one is so content
that “more” is not even a fantasy,
but something to be feared.

but art failed me.
and for that,
i am strangely
in love.

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5 responses

  1. I am in love with this poem. This is a great rendition of how art makes you feel! I can absolutley relate!

    March 5, 2010 at 2:16 pm

  2. Wonderful poem…that truly captures the allure and narcotic nature of art.

    March 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm

  3. Christina C.

    “tricked me into being
    an indentured servant/slave/disgruntled worker/
    disillusioned mate
    infatuated with a partner
    that ejaculates before i am satisfied”

    so powerful. keep writing sis 🙂

    April 2, 2010 at 11:30 am

  4. malcolmjames

    Divine, Pearls. Divine pearls, Pearls.

    May 2, 2010 at 8:48 pm

  5. 1markt

    This is a beautifully written work and challenges the artist to “think outside the box” to look at things in a new way and to be unsatisfied with being content or normal, giving peace to the status quo. I liked this work very much and respect the eloquence as much as I admire it. Bravo and Bravo!
    Marcus T.

    May 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm

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