Sunday, February 12, 2017

It's In The Eyes...

Abandoned Farm Labor Housing, Davis, 2017
—Poem and Photo by Charles Mariano, Sacramento, CA

—Charles Mariano

Creativity comes purely, cleanly, from the individual.  Comes and goes in all directions.  It’s freedom.  At times, it’s refuge from the noise and confusion.  Silence, loneliness, hand in hand.

Invisible paintings on my walls, my wildest dreams.  Exotic, surreal, mysterious.  I’m intrigued, yet frightened.  The faces of pain and anguish, disguised as happiness.  There’s art, only it hides, slithers inside my skin, the tips of my fingers.  Words to paint on a canvas, a constant swirl of colors, emotions.  Faces stalk the floors angrily, protest loudly.  Politics, despicable murders, side by side, the same breath.  It’s not easy choosing sides.  I sit and paint.  The horror balls up into a poisonous swell. 

I’ve created escape, survival.  We all have our ways.  I go home, stand among family and friends, count whose left.  There’s something big out there, immense.  It’s beyond my fingertips.  Can’t see yet.  I’m attacked from all sides.  Demons unleashed, vengeance renewed.  I raise my knife, slice a path.  The reds, dark reds flow.  I stop, angle towards the light.  Press the blues into the reds, swirl the madness. 

Creativity is an illusion.  I’m moved beyond words.  I’ve exceeded, collapsed, gone under.  Tear it down, start over, don’t stop.  Arms, hands, fall to the side.  It’s in the eyes, between the lines.  Peel the layers, find the soul.  Hold it to the sun, bury it again. 

What is art?  It’s who you are, no matter who you are.  It’s the power to express any mood, any damn color.  It doesn’t have to sit beautifully, or posture for effect.  It pulls deeply, gouges, rakes across our chests with metal claws. 

When I paint, no one cares to see, but that’s not why I do it.  I’m driven to succeed after every failure, to overcome the impossible, crawl out from every hole, not dead, still standing.  No one tells me what colors to use.  No one points my direction.  There’s pride in my silence.  I’m not a painter, yet I’m painting.  Glowering rage, frustrated, crushed, reborn.  Passion is what I feel.  It seeps through my fingers into the colors.  Every darkness, every desperate, hopeless thought, until my last word, last breath.  I’m inside the walls, the seams, sinking deeper.  “More colors,” I scream, “I need more colors!”

It’s in the eyes.  I stop, angle towards the light.  What do you see? 


—Medusa, with thanks to Charles Mariano for today’s fine musings and photo!