These Laurels Were Not Meant To Rest by Valerie Parente
Imagine, imagine, imagine. When the world is mundane I give it my passion another artistic era to rise from the ashes.
Create, create, create. People say I should be satisfied but I need to formulate an endless stream of words from this mental landscape.
Another rhyme, another day, another opportunity for artistic display. These laurels were not meant to rest, in this garden I’ll always progress, so ever-evolving, so evergreen, like the creativity that lives within me.
Artistic displays without God-like fame gets you weird looks. Promiscuous fashion without hollow passion gets you unsold books. Poetic mindsets without a publisher’s subtext gets you ridiculed. Free expression without others’ discretion gets you verbal abuse. Because it’s okay to feel hurt as long as you have a following and it’s okay to create stories as long as you’re not being honest, but the moment you draw from your real life without the public’s hype that’s when they call you the bad guy; Because art without fame is just the diary of a lunatic. Love without a mate gets you deemed the psycho chick. And this is not a complaint, just a reminder that I’m aware of it. So bid me your hate, I’m already immune to it.
I’ve learned to accept that when you merge intellect with fishnets as a way to project an explicit mindset and mental health awareness you’ll get teased by the rest but I’m okay with that test because I’ve overcome too much stress against the odds of my illness to still give a fraction of a shit.
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.
I just want to be like my dolls without the judgement from them all, a mystery in the shape of a female, representing aesthetic fairytales, provocative yet innocent, the way I see myself in my head, that’s where I belong in the silhouette of a doll.
As my peers reach milestones full of romance and growing old I can’t quite relate because my timeline isn’t the same but when I touch plastic and porcelain I can grow without forcing through stories propped on the wall in the silhouette of a doll.
I own exclusive legal rights to the words from this mouth drawn by my tongue always right and never wrong because I feel how I’m meant to in the phrases that come through, they’re from me to you. If you love it, I do too but if you hate it, I don’t know you.
I wrote this poem, “Like Fine China“, without fully understanding what my subconscious was trying to tell me. After reading it a couple of times I realized the meaning behind the words. Fine China is the symbol for making art (something beautiful) out of sadness. The sadness is a constant cycle that manifests itself like patterns on fine China, royal “blue” (sad) details that I’ve etched upon the surface (my writing). When I have days that I break down, the porcelain breaks down, and I could use the jagged pieces of sadness to hurt myself but instead I choose to use them to build a display out of the broken pieces in the form of a porcelain vase (art from my mental breakdown) and there I show off pretty flowers (rhymes through poetry). The problem that arises from creating art out of sadness, sometimes sadness that a 3rd party might see as “old news”, is that these emotions I’ve recited are as good as dead to the world, hence why the flowers in the fine China vase I’ve built are decaying. The wonder in this, though, is that those decaying flowers offer me, the writer, solace. The cycle of sadness and creativity continues as the decaying flowers become a beautiful floral tea that I turn to for comfort as a grieve the ongoing pain I’m still in. Other people don’t see the benefit of the flowers (writing about perpetual pain), but I do. The entire process from fine china to a floral tea is cathartic, as is the artistic process, and in the end I feel okay and like I can survive my own mental state. Alas, a new day comes, the sadness inevitably returns as I am overwhelmed with reminders from the real world, and the pretty pain goes back to being “too pretty to comprehend” (commentary on not fully understanding what I was writing in the poem itself “Like Fine China”). Thus the entire breaking down of fine china (delving into an artistic outlet) occurs again.
Isn’t it incredible how art can be completely mindless but reveal something so profound in the mind it spawns from?
How can one be so strong and indestructible yet appear like fine china, so fragile. Royal blue details drawn on clay art on top of an artistic display. Breaking as I break down, a million pieces so jagged and profound. I could use them to separate my skin instead I made a vase out of porcelain. I filled the china like a beautiful bouquet with flowers that had already decayed. And everybody calls me a sick freak because I can still see their beauty but it’s them who fail to see that dead flowers make great tea and I’ll sip it as I grieve remembering how it felt to be like fine china, too pretty to comprehend until they break me down again.