Been a while since I have had a thing to do with you,
you keyboard with your aptitude for prodding me to skew
my facts of life – you implements of color and outlining
and chiaroscuro and perspective, all the mining
tools you’ve said that I must use – the digging down to ore
I’m told at your insistence is my only route to finding more
than I’ll have found before in drawing - tools I’ll need
to enter into and enlarge my vision, and to weed
out all the vapid and extraneous misfires that so far
have made up the great bulk of what I’m told by others mar
my name as artist (whatever “artist” could in my case mean)
and thus invite me to self-pitying attack: where I demean
myself for all the shortcomings that constitute the lack
in me of being able to face truth: this Kettelhack’s a hack.
Not to mention the most mortal sin I have committed:
a narcissism so immense no other view can be admitted.
Oddly though, how from my self-disgust, my feeble facture,
intellectual inadequacies and the rest of what effect a fracture
of my me-me-me, I experience this self-consuming pleasure.
Its lovely endless repercussions are a great dark pleasure.
But even that, of course, is just another deadly dull cliché.
Cliché, apparently, has long been my established way.
Have I done sufficient justice to the braying and self-flaying
that this course requires? ‘Life: Lessons in Role-Playing.’