One of the writers on my website posted the following blog entry, an excerpt from which is posted here. It's a wonderful farce about the self-declared artist, literary theory and "creative writing." Writing as Art By roger sakowski
Back in the sixties, I remember gabbing with a guy who had just finished reading a poem in a coffeehouse. He refused to call himself a writer or a poet; rather he called himself an artist. I asked why he made the distinction.
“Everyone’s a writer or a poet,” he said.
The coffeehouse’s owner paid him to read his poems nightly because it brought in customers. “They’re the artsy-fartsy crowd,” he said. “Wouldn’t know a poem from a letter to Santa. Me neither. But you gotta admit, the guy gives the place ambiance.”
“I’m a tourist attraction,” my artist friend laughed, “at least that’s something.”
It’s funny how some memories stick around.
I still admire that tourist attraction. He was arrogant, self-aggrandized, and utterly conceited enough be an artist without publishing a single poem or winning the appreciation of a single person.
“Even my girlfriend won’t read ’em,” he said.
Oh, to be so self-serving! It’s everything I craved.
I wanted to be an artist too, but I understood that the title’s meaningless if it’s not heartfelt. The issue became: how do I convince myself that I’m one?
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