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On Artistic Integrity - text

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I toe the line of self-indulgence
Every time I place my pen
Upon the page and form the words
I felt but couldn’t show ‘til then
And to myself I beg the question
Why do I thus masquerade
As one to one and to another
Someone else? If I, afraid
Of what the consequence of stating
Openly my cause might be,
When I rant and rhyme and reason
Do I write for them or me?
I believe there is some merit
In creating for one’s self
But why place before the public
What is best left on the shelf?
Though while I write I do not feel that
What I pen is mine alone,
Even this could be misguided
As are many I have known
Who swore, poor souls, that they possessed
The key to man’s mysterious fate,
Succeeded in convincing some,
But most could tell they did but prate
On subjects touching something vague
Which cannot be unproven, or,
In place of content, speak in tongues
Yet know not whom they’re speaking for.
No, I am not deluded so;
I do not feel I represent
Some force divine, but still I know
That I shall never be content
To hold my tongue when I would speak
Or change my words to suit the hour
Or pinch a blush upon my cheek
To feign my joy at love gone sour.
I do not wish to disappoint
The faith that others place in me
To lead the way to brighter days,
But sometimes dark is all I see.
I work for good, I toil for hope,
No one can question my intent
But even those who listen close
Can often mistake what I meant.
My fear, I’ve come to realize,
Is mainly this: that I am wrong,
That my perception is askew,
That I write shyte and call it song.
Perhaps I’ll always question thus,
Discount my merits, thoughts, and deeds
‘Tis well, long as I still go forth
And see where this, my vision, leads.
Strong is she who knows her mind
And speaks it though she may not please.
Fortunate the audience
That hears such honest thoughts as these.

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