by and E

To create in any medium of the arts, be it writing, painting or music, is for me an escape from the constraints of the social roles we individuals are placed in. Extreme joy is born out of struggle, finding one's self without guilt, fear or competition; seeing no separation between the public and private attitudes of life's daily actions. It is because of this I create. I believe that poetry is anything, and everything that can produce a feeling, emotion or thought, in the heart and or mind of its audience. Furthermore, I believe that a poem can exist and be successful living "in a world of thought," it doesn't have to constantly be in a "world of living, breathing feelings." The voice I choose is that of desire; its search is to comprehend and embrace life and live. Inflections of the voice are expressed through uncertainty, anxiety, love, anger, lust, self-rejection and heightened by desperation brought on from existing in a world focused on perpetuating self-limitations; conformity to convention, the banality of a minute to day existence. This voice also explores the wants and needs of being human in this world of turbulence and despair. The poem, THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC (A THREE DAY CRUSH) is a good example of the voice I often use; here are a few lines to demonstrate:

			... A pain for emotional discomfort 
				lipping words that mean 
					I love you... 
		Check for the amount of courage you can carry... 
	Hand caressing hip palming gummi bare tummy... 
	  Playground girls hiding from boys 
	in closets tracing cartoon captions filling void 
		Bourbon and soda glasses... 

This voice can also be seen in another poem/lyrics titled, SOME KIND OF DISEASED LOVE:

		Shut-up and please 
			You're a slut 
		  You're a junkie bitch 
			You whore 
		Why do you lie to me 
		Poked and stroked raw 
		she screams for life 
			He can always satisfy 
			   or so one thinks 
		She won't stray too far 
		from that good time lay 
			She won't stray 
		   although she knows 
		She can not stay 
		Ten o'clock tolls and in they stroll 
			Another two hour roll in the hay 
			Tied to the bed her ankles bleed 

		Rope burns bonded hands 
	It's the twist into an epileptic nightmare 
		Eyes closed stream tear 
	  		past blue earlobe 
	    past the whispered words of love 
			I hate 
		I hate you 
		It's one more beer 
		    another last cigarette 
		end of an evening's lust 
	  It's that place to face one loved 
		someone so feared 
		     With a slap to the face and ass 
	she feels another night end with a Nazi thrash 
		Stroked and poked raw 
	    she screams 
			If this tragedy ends 
	there will be no security blanket near 

There are two methods I often use: stream of consciousness and the act of borrowing. Stream of consciousness begins as simplified thoughts taken to, but not always, realized refinement. The poem, PINK-ASS. TIGHT HOLE. (title pending), is a fine model of this method. It began as a class exercise, in which I interpreted the visions and thoughts in my mind, produced through listening to some jazz recordings. After letting words spill from my pencil, the lines written were put away and not looked at. A few days later I returned to the handwritten thoughts and typed them up, rearranging and correcting any spelling that needed to be done. Many of the thoughts remained the same as they appeared while others were jumbled about, but all the handwritten words remained in type, with the addition of a few more. Once again the piece was left to rest, then at a later date revision and editing took place, bring the poem to where it is at, at this time. Here is a portion of the original stream of consciousness and its revision, both of which found its place on the cutting room floor:

		charlie brown and dog lost where that damn food bowl 
	hey you gotta smoke for me promise won't kick that dog 
		when leaves fall orange and red 
	cover your head mama yells ass october mists orange 
		charlie brown and dog lost 

		dog lost where that damn food bowl got kicked
	"Hey you got a smoke for me - promise won't kick ya 
		when you down and out 
		when leaves fall orange and red 
	cover your head remember mamma yelling as October mists 
		Charlie boy where's your dog 

Borrowing key words and phrases from other written works is another way that I spark my thoughts into motion. This method of "borrowing" is similar but not exactly the same as the cut-up method, used by the dadaist and other experimental writers. The poem, THROUGH CREATING (title pending), is one instance where I used a variety of visual artists' statements about their work; mixed them together and created a new piece that I call my own. Here are some of the phrases that where used to create the poem: Spontaneous occurrences studied then put under complete control, to what has taken place. Whoever reaches his idea, notion concept - transcends it. To create is to affirm the necessity of being human in the face of disorder and despair. The practice of intuition. The practice of the conscious, unconscious. The un-thought of thoughts that reflect self but do not saturate self with selfness.

As for strengths and weaknesses, I feel that the main strength of my work is reflected through the imagery that shows itself and its abstract quality of provoking thought. In regard to the abstract quality the hope is that the audience will find and apply their own meanings to the language of the piece. Furthermore, I feel that my editing and revision process is another plus, but at the same time I know too that this becomes a weakness. Sometimes a piece will never come off the editing board: it's constantly and to excess, vacillating between versions and revisions. This is when the "gut feeling" of completion has not been felt, and that "gut feeling," which I can not express in words at this time in my life and work, must be felt before I can say a piece is finished. I also feel that I expect too much from the audience in regard to the more abstract and thought pieces. I expect the audience to think, to use their own mind for their own completion and comprehension of a piece. "... the more abstract the truth is - the more you have to seduce the senses."

The question has been posed as to where my work is going. What should be asked is, where I am going, and the response to that I can only hope will answer the question of my work. I hope to continue to learn and grow; to be fully human and experience life and live with truth, love and sincerity. For I know that those qualities and desires I strive for will be reflected in all my creations.

Andrew J. Corrigan

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