Perhaps with this web-site I will prove I am not a writer by writing.
There was a point in my past that I told myself I had to choose….either write or make art. The writing fell by the wayside. As I remember it the choice came on a dark winter’s night in 1970. I was living at Mrs. Yee’s on Arno street while attending UNM. A war was raging outside my door. Unlike Texas where the war was between hippies and cowboys, here the war was between alcoholics and junkies. Mrs.Yee’s apartment was something you might find behind the Bate’s Motel and I’m pretty sure Norman was living out back.
Two women had recently moved into the apartment above me. I had not met them. Late that dark winter’s night there was a knock at the door. I opened it. The young women rushed into the room both talking at once. Not one to refuse the attentions of women I invited them in and sat with them and tried to listen. “We just saw our husbands in our room” they exclaimed excitedly. That’s nice I thought, maybe I should invite the husbands in as well. “We just saw our husbands upstairs.” they repeated. “ they were killed 2 years ago …….in Viet Nam…”
“Uh Oh” I thought.
We talked into the night ….the women did calm down. Their dead husbands faded away. Eventually the conversation came around to me. Bad paintings littered my apartment. “You’re an artist ?” one asked. “Yes and a writer” I said. As they left I handed them a stack of my bad poetry.
Several days later there was another knock at my door.
One of the young women was standing there. “We’re moving out “ she said. ”Here is your poetry.” As she handed me the stack of tattered paper I looked deeply into her eyes.
“ Your stuff is heavy man !” she said.
Suddenly I realized she didn’t have a clue what my bad poetry was about. The more unintelligible the writing the heavier it became.
“Maybe I better stick with art” I thought “ it doesn’t matter if anyone understands it or not”