“Consider the Source”

Christine Kane has an excellent article which made its way into my email this week. In the article, she writes quite frankly about how to handle things when people are critical of your efforts. It’s geared toward business owners and entrepreneurs, but the advice is just as sound for artists, writers, photographers, musicians – anyone who dares enough to open themselves to criticism by making art. (This may be because Christine really gets it – she worked many years as a musician.) It’s not about learning to disregard criticism; it’s about taking into consideration whether the source of the unsolicited advice knows enough about your field to critique you. Give it a read. You’ll be glad you did.

“Consider the Source: A Checklist for Business Advice” by Christine Kane

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Driven to Distraction in Four Movements

A happening, a gathering, a
Thing that I forgot
She decorates and hurries
Oblivious thorn in her side, I am,
But the flowers are lovely
“It looks just like a funeral,” I say
(Was that the wrong thing?
A wedding instead?)
I forget.
I am about to be distracted
Among the lilies and lights
You appear
The room spins one way, my head another
This is not the disorientation of senility
But bewitchment

I am driving
Why am I driving?
Where are we going?
I could drive this road with one hand tied behind my back
(I know it like the back of my other hand, you see)
But let us stop here and breathe together
Breathe with me
Breathe for me
Breathe life into me
If you can
Heaven knows I would stop breathing for you

I did not know it was
Or maybe I did and forgot
(I do that)
I saw that the gallery was an old lover’s apartment
Resurrected, restored and remarked in her absence
She became offended at my discretion
And though she said nothing
Her eyes chastised me for this
Reconstruction of relations

And now you stand before me
Speaking urgently of things I don’t follow
Dark hair, lily skin, indigo mood
I would drown myself in your depths
My eyes understand you but
My ears are deaf
You have short-circuited the battery to my brain
With your rage and reason
And just when I catch words that seem to make sense
Like Eliot’s women you sigh in despair
Muttering, “That is not it, that is not it at all.”
And I wake to your mother’s knock on the door
A wedding or a funeral?
I forgot.
I do that.
(Breathe with me
Heaven knows I’d stop breathing for you.)

© Copyright 2004-2013 F.X. MacKenzie

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