An Artist’s Prerogative

An Artist’s Prerogative by Valerie Parente

If I’m prude
in today’s mood
then that can creep
in my pen’s muse.
But it’s also my prerogative
if I want to be provocative
and I shouldn’t have to explain
just the same.

Call it vanity,
call it obscene,
call it everything you want it to be,
because you say what should be forbidden fruit
based on the very impulses you don’t give in to
and an artist does not need to coincide
with the expressions you try to hide
and I’ll be damned if I start
to censor myself in my art.

Call it explicit,
call it raw,
call it everything I foresaw.
I tried to come up with a million reasons,
an answer to every single grievance
but I realized
in my confines
that I shouldn’t have to justify
how I display what’s on my mind.
It’s my job to evoke a feeling,
that part of you begging for healing,
and if uneasiness comes into play
then those qualms were never meant to stay.
We elicit what we need
to evolve into a higher breed
and artistic expression is that key
making censorship its enemy.

– Valerie Parente (12-27-2020)