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)

The Utmost Importance

The Utmost Importance by Valerie Parente

All I want
in the big scheme
is for you and me
to be able to speak
about how we feel
freely.
Where ideas are allowed
to differ in a crowd
without shutting each other down
with a buzzword to block the profound
just because one person has self doubt.
Because I might be bitter inside
from personal bad times
but that doesn’t give me the right
to say you cannot vocalize
all of your good times.

The right to speak
is the right to feel
and the right to feel
is the right to be
and if we can’t just be
then there is no point to humanity.

– Valerie Parente (11-4-2020)

Provocateur

Provocateur by Valerie Parente

The more they say I can’t paint that way
the more I’m going to become a public display
because the controversial thrives in me
and I make pictures from a world of make-believe.
If you say this body of art needs to stop
then congratulations, you just elongated that prompt.

I can take a thought from my own head
and plant it inside yours using the magic of words.
If this world tries to censor my sensitivities
then a storm of more expression is about to empty me.

– Valerie Parente (8-22-2020)