18 January 2011

Alberta T-Bone


Artists I know
Cannot understand
How someone like me
Has remained

An industrial worker
His whole life
Waking up early
Going to the fucking job

I could never be
Anything but
An artist
They tell me

I do not understand
It myself sometimes
The sawmill entrance
Early in the morning

I do understand it
When it is time for dinner
Got mashed potato
And an Alberta t-bone

4 comments:

Jon said...

Artists think this shit is about personal decisions. Truth is that if your daddy was a wage slave and your granddaddy was a wage slave, you will be a wage slave.
That's my first point.
My second point is that, given the way the world is organized at the moment an artist is a type of businessman. It doesn't have all that much to do with being creative.
I like art and I'm a great believer in what our pal and fellow poet A. Ginsberg called "sensitive bullshit" but most of us are trying to sweat a nickel or two out of this fucking thing, life. We're not given much choice.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

I can imagine what it must be like to be an artist. Sleep in, get drunk, do your art, get more drunk, go back to bed. I would have died young.

The artist can imagine what it must be like to be an industrial worker. Get up early, fuck the dog, get drunk, go to back to bed. The artist thinks they would commit suicide doing that.

I get up early, fuck the dog, walk the dog, get drunk, do my art, go to bed. One day soon I will be done working. I think I will enjoy the artist's life very much then. If I make it.

ib said...

Think of artist as resentful factotum. Not Andy Warhol.

Sleep in; call in sick; get drunk; do your shit; worry about the rent; go to bed; drag your ass up and punch back in.

Jon has a point. While Andy was schmoozing in the 'factory' - overseeing xmas wrapping in the making - the best art was getting done elsewhere. Andy Warhol probably would have been better just printing up a whole bunch of dollar bills. In pink and mauve. Yellow. Purple.

They would have busted him for it, so he went to market with his soup cans.

Well. Bukowski took a little longer. Not to get going; just to get it out there. A whole lot of jobs. Even longer getting drunk and calling in sick.

That may be the best part of any job. A unionized job at least. Calling in sick and, if you're fortunate enough, still getting paid for it. Of course, finally they get wise to it and fire your ass. Then you waste more time looking for somewhere else to put the hours in before calling in sick again.

No doubt about it. Bukowski was a better poet than Byron or Shelley.
Percy not Pete. Byron, of course, never toiled a day in his life.

Still. I am not going to get all sentimental about the good old days of coal mining. There are plenty who built a career around waxing lyrical on the nobility of the humble working man. Fuck them. Most of these bastards went straight from school into journalism without once getting their fingernails blackened with soot.

In the last several years, I seem to have made a career out of being unemployable. The only thing left for me is in one of those fucking call centres where they nail you to a chair and glue a phone to your hand. Wire you up to the dialler.

Fuck that too.

What we need is a publishing company. Somebody willing to make a little investment.

Not too much either. Nothing on the scale of an annual report to shareholders. Just enough to get a few fucking words on paper. That would be nice.

uniplmr1 said...

That's what happened to me ,too. I was the saddest of the sad, a dope fiend that worked. Artists I consorted with never got undrunk. Or worked. Lucky Bastards.