Freedom of Expression

Artists claim this all the time.
Hey, it's our right, man!  Don't stifle me or swallow my soul!

I believe we should--nay, must-- tackle all subjects we feel passionate about.  We shouldn't fear in silence something that burns through us to be said.

But, with everything we handle, we must look at the how and not just the why.

Kenneth Goldsmith, a conceptual poet, took the autopsy report of Michael Brown and "made it into a poem" by rearranging/subtracting/explaining the actual text of the report.  Should this have even have been done?  I understand wanting to talk about issues, rip them open and show everyone what they look like not smothered by shadows.  You may tell me he has accomplished it, he has us talking, now.  But I disagree; now he has us talking about Kenneth's rights, Kenneth's choices.  He has utilized the needless death of a person of color for HIS advantage, to advance HIS name.
(I've heard from a few sources he ended it on a line about Mr. Brown having average genitals.  Is that so the old, white fogey penning this undeniable masterpiece can relate to his subject?  Because, you know, a human unjustly murdered isn't nearly anything anyone can relate/sympathize with.)

Read more about it.

We can talk about... write about... anything we want.  Art should, thoughtful people should.  But we also must be mindful of how we approach it.  How best to keep our intentions clear and message strong.  Unless, of course, your entire answer to WHY you're tackling a topic IS to shine a light on yourself, regardless of who was hurt or what implications there might be.  Then, my friends, you deserve the fallout.

Have you seen people cover a topic just to make themselves shine?  Did you hear about the Michael Brown poem?


  1. Thanks for writing about this. I agree that we should be mindful. Also, I am so proud of you and thrilled for you for all of the poetry you've been writing!!! It's wonderful to be able to read about your hard work and passion.

    1. Not writing as much, but publishing a little and submitting a fair amount with the assistance of my husband.

      I added a link so everyone can learn more about the Michael Brown "poem" if they want.

      I'm always glad to hear from you!

  2. Just because we can doesn't mean that we should and even if we think we should if it's not decent art it seems like a waste of time and paper or whatever materials are used in the creation. I haven't read the poem and I'm not particularly interested as it mostly sounds like a gimmick to incite and get attention.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    A Faraway View

    1. Definitely a gimmick, at the expense of a serious issue and real person. The "poet" did it as a live performance at Brown University. I haven't found the text.

  3. There's always a need for sensitivity when you're working from the lives of others. It makes a big difference if you are seeking to understand or to shine a spotlight on yourself. The poem you cite seems in poor taste to me.

    1. It was in extremely poor taste. Many conceptual poets talk about divorcing feelings (you know, the primal, immature things) from thought (unrestricted by emotion, it brings us beyond mere selves). They act as though emotion were weakness, shackles but we are beings of many facets.