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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Prick First, Saint Second


If you want to be a great artist
you’ve got to be
a prick first
and a saint second.

You must be willing
to gamble
it all for your art:
your kids,
your wife,
your security.

If the dice fall right,
and you pull
the fourth ace,
you'll be rewarded
with the fame
the adulation
the money
the lovers
each offering themselves up
as blank checks waiting for
your endorsement.

When you've reached
your limit,
and when even
your own excesses
repulse you,

then you'll have
The Epiphany,
and you will
renounce it all
for the simple life:

you'll have
that second family,
where you will become
the devoted father,
the unabashed and
unapologetic husband,

and with your
newly proclaimed
inner peace,

you will denounce
all those things
that the prick loved-
the trappings of this world -
that now seem so petty
so temporal,
so vulgar,

but you will still have
your exciting memories
and a sizable nest egg
in the bank.

If I were smart
I would have been
a prick first,
and a saint second,
because
if I try to be
a great artist now,
I’d just end up
looking like
a prick.

[Posted for  #OpenLinkNight at www.dversepoets.com- a little bit of heaven right at your fingertips!]

40 comments:

  1. ha. aint that the truth...there are things more important...i'll be honest, that is one of the reasons i have yet to do a book of my own...seen far too many people disappear once they publish and forget all about those that walked the way with them...i def dont want to be that prick...

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    1. Nah, that wouldn't be you. Thanks, Mosk

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  2. i dunno...think i would never want to do art for a living... art for me is fun, relaxing.. if you HAVE to write and HAVE to paint because otherwise there will be no food on the table by the end of the day, it becomes a pressure that not many manage to deal with...ha... and then the price some pay for being famous...i wouldn't be ready for this me thinks...good write sir

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    1. I sometimes think I want the fame and adulation, but more often am glad I am famous in my little world. Thanks.

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  3. I love this! It's all so true, and it's hilarious.

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    1. Thanks, but I tend to see this as a male phenomena. Women are too grounded for such nonsense.

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  4. Funny and clever insight into the mind of an artist. It does make being a prick look a little like fun.

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    1. Thanks, and I'm sure it is fun.

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  5. Great... if your start out a saint you have to be a prick and give it all up.. very insightful writing.

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    1. Perhaps this is just my defense for not being more successful. Thanks for your kind words.

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  6. Brilliant, Buddha - the conclusion too, a stroke of genius

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    1. Thanks so much - I'll accept your label of genius and apply sparingly :).

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  7. Mosk, I love that ending! You can still live out loud, and you don't need to turn into a prick (I hope).

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    1. I hope not too, but I ain't making any promises. Thanks.

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  8. Well, I've never heard of the two in the same breath, so I guess anything's possible.

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  9. Oh you made me chuckle!! I was the former--but I don't think I will get to the latter

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    1. Thanks, and never say never, you might still become a saint!

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  10. I think you chose wisely! This is a superb write, I enjoyed reading it a number of times all the whiles smiling at the truth, the humor and the wry acknowledgement of fame.

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    1. So do I, in my world, I'm the star!

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  11. Written with wry insight and so on point for several celebs. I agree with Claudia, when art and writing becomes an occupation, the fun departs and the work and competition begins, blech.
    Loved this, Mosk!
    Z.

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    1. Thanks a la Zoux - I read artists' bios and they're all pricks, even relatively benign ones like Burt Bacharach - oy, was he a prick, but he got laid an awful lot!

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  12. I did have some dreams earlier.....in the fiction arena....but I really think it is all in who you know whether you can find an agent or publisher. Even in the poetry blogosphere, I think there are a lot of good poets, some as good as those who have 'names.' The difference is...the 'names' have had a big break, and I bet a lot of those with 'breaks' got them through connections. I guess I am just cynical. I write for myself, compile / self-publish books for myself and family. No fame needed.

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    1. I agree - I like to think that every single positive comment I get is an affirming hug, so thanks for the hug (assuming this is a positive comment).

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  13. This made me laugh, but also, it is a challenge to balance the selfishness that art requires with the selflessness that life can ask for. It's always a matter of finding the balance. I actually think that in some ways, it is easier now with all the technology we have, to find a bit of that balance.

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    1. You put it well - the balance of selfishness and selflessness. Thanks - Mosky

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  14. "Pablo Picasso was never called an a$$hole." - Jonathan Richman. Who was never a rich man. But a damn fine artist. Appreciate this write, Mosk ~ M

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    1. Picasso was a major prick - countless affairs. Immense talent. Me? I'm a good guy and a somewhat sucky writer, which makes sense. Thanks, rock on Modern Lovers

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  15. Buddah Baby....you speak da truth, always. Love you for it. And you aint no prick...but I dig what you're saying...and saying it so well. Many Mwahs! xoxoxo ~jackie~

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    1. Thanks, Jackie, and while I try to be a good guy, I know deep down I can be a real prick. I tap that core for my best work. Much love back atcha, moskareena

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  16. This made me laugh even though it is layered in cynicism, Buddah.

    Pamela

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    1. Thanks, and your comment makes sense as I am layered in cynicism (among other things).

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  17. Yea, if I had it all to do over again I'd be much worse to start with. :o) It's funny because it's true, lol.

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    1. Thanks for your candor! - Much appreciated, Mosk

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  18. That notion seems to be quite true in my experience. The great ones are almost exclusively broken people at heart.

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    1. Thanks, I appreciate your comment.

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  19. I absolutely love that the title can be read as if both "Prick" and "Saint" are verbs. Sometimes we have to prick ourselves, give of our blood, our ink, our sweat...and true rewards only come from the action of pure motives. Great piece, Sir.

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    1. Thanks, de. 'preciate your kindness.

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