Spleen

highlighted-spleen

The more honest you are in your art, the more dishonest you feel you haveto become in your life.

There’s something broken down, something imminent when you’ve spilled your guts.  And you can’t go back and say sorry or I didn’t mean that.  Truth, like baby chicks, need to be protected. But we don’t live in no incubator. As soon as you leave the art or whatever you may have created – even if its just a thought or a perfunctory mark on the cave wall (to prove you existed) – you have a choice to make when you back out into “their” world.  You can swim upstream and go against the current – but you must be prepared to pay the price. It’s hard revealing the boils and sores on your soul, it’s like an acne-marred face that could be beautiful if it could see beyond itself and into another person’s eyes…I shared a photograph that I took of a lovely woman with a “mental affliction” who had the greatest glimmer I had ever seen, in fact she made me almost ashamed to complain about the death-riot in my head and my dry mouth…I showed it to my counselor and they all neatly decided there was something wrong with me.  Why?  Cause in the photo a splendid stream of saliva stretched across the yarn of this young woman’s face like a St. Bernard in all its glory.  And they said that was sick, that I was a sick sick man.

And I lied and said “Oh, my.  I did not notice that.  That’s obviously a mistake, of course that’s not beautiful, of course I don’t think – “

But it was too late.

Now I’m done, un-done, with none, kaput. Finished.

And so because I no longer have to worry about offending the people whose obscene views of life berate and insult me I can at least – again – be honest and free to not be embarrassed by my desire to feel or be feeled or be feel-ing…all that spins and flows through my veins.

And now, especially, when they say: “Oh, may I share a poem with you?”
I will watch to see where it comes from.

And if they pull it out of their pocket instead of their spleen I’ll know that I am still in hell.

(originally published in the 2010 chapbook Lying Meat)

Author: Dennis-Leroy Kangalee

"I've been addicted to the flight, the albatross reason and the eternal search for something I couldn't explain or give or create or destroy..." Guerrilla filmmaker, performer, & writer Dennis Leroy Kangalee is a radical media ecologist who writes critical essays about protest art, activism, Black cinema, and culture. He is best known for his 2002 controversial film "As an Act of Protest". He is the author of "Lying Meat" (poems), the 2011 performance-piece "Gentrified Minds" and several screenplays. A Juilliard alumnus, he is the creator of the "Visual Liberation" film pedagogy that relates to 'protest art', he is available for lectures, workshops, freelance writing assignments, and private acting coaching lessons for actors.

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