year 1953, and an artist
erases a heavy, charcoal sketch of a man he admired
and hangs it up on the wall –
like a trophy, almost –
and the frame might as well have been
a chalk outline or a loud, bold DO NOT CROSS.
but even with the sighs of regret and curiosity at an unseen
(could have been, would have been) masterpiece,
you are forced to ask:
what is art but creation?
what of the creation of destruction?
it is criminal to contain this discovery, really, as
i find myself using rauschenberg much too broadly as an excuse.
i’ve a purpose, now, singeing my flesh, and i will tell you
i believe in artistic expression.
it is art, i say, and i set fire to paper and ink, the corners
of the page curling up within itself as the fire turns to darkness that
consumes what is left of my fickle memory. it is art, i say, and i set fire to my home,
vengeance for when it didn’t keep me warm in its arms as it promised to forever.
it is art, i say, and i set fire to the bridges that haven’t already been burnt down to earth.
it is art, i say,
and i set fire to myself.
marvel at it all. wonder at what is left, gild me with a frame, ask what was there
before the ashes, before the erasure of substance,
before i set everything ablaze, before i created
Art by Aleksandra Waliszewska