One More Thing I Don’t Understand

From: Like A Tiny Sparrow Rising From The Ashes

Of all the things I don’t understand
There’s a new contender for King
Not that it’s much of a crown
My mind is a tiny kingdom
That’s hardly worth ruling
So enjoying all things creative
As I thought I did
Until this day
A lover of
Of paintings
And more
I visited an art installation
In an unused local prison
A wonderful old building
Of the 1800s
That told the only story
I understood all day
In itself it was beautiful
It had atmosphere
And presence
It told its own story without any explanation
Full of personality
And emotion
But I wasn’t there to be
Stunned by the structure
But to be
Entertained by the work
Of 18 of the town’s finest
Yet I didn’t understand
To my own personal shame
What the hell they were on about
One cell
For they were the spaces each of the chosen
Were given to use
As the platform for their creative voice
Appeared to have nothing in it
The artist I was later told
Had spent long days for two solid weeks
Drawing tiny pictures
In the cracks
Behind flaky paint
In the seams of the bricks
That you couldn’t see
Unless you knew they were there
I felt ignorant that I didn’t understand
What that meant
Or what it was supposed to invoke
I also felt I had no skills
Truth be told
In the art of playing
Hide and seek
Another cell had one wall covered in matching photocopies
Of an old photo
I didn’t know what that meant either
I read the plaque
The key to answering my questions
About what made it clever
Or beautiful
Or even worth looking at
I still didn’t understand
I carried on
Pained with confusion
In another cell I assumed the mother
Of a three year old
Had proudly adorned the walls
With the work by her child
Mistaking it
For her refrigerator
I didn’t understand that either
I saw a pattern emerging
That was the polar opposite
Of the one I’d expected
Of the one I’d hoped for
And that I didn’t belong
After all
With those kinds of people
If I ever did
In one more of the cells
A film played against the back wall
Of a man
Having a fight
With a large roll of paper
Saying something about
And the challenges of life
A passer by said
(It was his right
Because everyone’s a critic)
“Everybody knows that’s not the way
To hang wallpaper
You work top to bottom”
He was my only reprise
I felt less ignorant
Because after all my worry
Of being so unknowledgeable
It would appear
I wasn’t the most stupid child in class
And after all of this
People were raving
At what a wonderful thing
This town had produced
Wonderful minds
Exploring questions
With their stunning perception
And intelligent pieces
Yet I remain baffled
Wondering when the host would show
And announce
I was being made to look foolish
On a hidden camera
TV show
This art that mocked me
Accused me of being stupid
Because I wasn’t pretentious
Because I didn’t buy into making a simple statement so complicated
That it became ridiculous
To me
None of the pieces
That mocked me
Looked like they took much effort
Nothing that looked like it had taken more
Than a few hours
To throw together
I didn’t understand it
I wanted to see wonders
To be impressed by
To be blown away by
Something I couldn’t do
Something better than the things
I might create
Never mind the scruffy output
Of a 4 year old child
I’ll stick to reading comics
And to commercial design
Their pictures tell a story I can understand
I’ll stick to the books
That tell me stories
That can make me cry
Or laugh
Or wish I was dead
To fantastical illustrations
That paint a picture
Even I can see
I’ll marvel at logos
And marketing genius
At beautiful tattoos
On beautiful people
I’ll stick with words
That tumble from pens
Constructed with letters
Which I understand
In an order that makes sense
That tell of
In a way I don’t have to have a degree
In what being an artist means
To understand them
In a way where I don’t have to feel
And ignorant
When I peruse it
To feel something other
Than those two very things
That I felt
That day

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