Revisitation • From the Bamboo Forests of the Night • open-edition giclée print
There is a burning shadow in the forest.
Such fierce patience.
Such languid movement.
Such stealth and terrible purpose made flesh.
Soundlessly, its piercing and predatory gaze seeks.
With coiled and ambitious grace, it strikes.
There come times in every person’s life when they slam face-first into the brick wall of realization that, whatever it is they are trying to do, someone else already did it. And did it better.
So, it is with heavy heart that I face up to the fact that I, sir, am no William Blake.
No one will ever write better poetry about orange-striped feline predators than Blake. It simply isn’t in the cards. Whether you spell it tiger or tyger or Tigger, no mortal hand will ever frame more fearful symmetry.
What is one to do when dunked into the frigid water of awareness?
Admittedly, I’m being a little bit facetious.
I didn’t start out with the goal of writing poetry (if that’s not too grandiose a description of these short paragraphs). I just hate writing product descriptions. When it came time to re-introduce these prints into my shop, I dreaded the dull, semi-informative, over-enthusiastic writing that usually belches up out of my brain when I’m trying to talk about things that, hopefully, people will buy. There’s a reason I didn’t become an ad copywriter, and its not that I can’t write.
So I decided to have some fun. And to get a little weird.
It’s actually been a bit of a revelation.
I haven’t done this kind of creative writing in such a long time, that I pulled a couple of neural muscles my first time out. After some mental stretches, I think I limbered up quite nicely.
There have been two (2) interestingly unexpected results of this exercise so far.
The first is that I’ve been forced to really boil down the concepts and meaning of each piece of art (the paper art, not the poems) to their immutable core. I tend to be verbose in my writing. Often to excess. I like big words. I read too much Bronte sisters books growing up. These descriptions really force me to embrace my inner Hemingway; to peel away the excess and reconsider the most vital parts.
Secondly, I’ve gotten excited about making art again. Not that I was bored, mind you. But this exercise reminded me of some of the central conceits and themes I love to draw about. And it tossed some kerosene on the fire.
Having said that, writing about our feline pal above has probably been the toughest one yet. Because, as I said, there’s nothing I can say that Blake didn’t say first and more magnificently.
From the Bamboo Forests of the Night prowls back into the shop today, the 15th open-edition giclée to sink its teeth into some prey.