INSPIRATION | noun | from the Latin inspirare | “breathe into”

to breathe life into words or actions, I imagine society’s commentators: poets, artists, free-thinkers
as I wish to be, shining a mirror to the city and country streets: the last crusaders of the Avant Garde

inspirare | piece this shattered world back together

Abstract Expressionist Barnett Newman created paintings he felt were the only way to react to a society broken by World War II, different from the still lifes and portraits, such malaise, showing us how we must begin over and over and over again from scratch, from etches in the dirt.
inspirare | painting had never existed

which means words have never existed, as they carry the weight of our art, how we can determine meaning with a single jumble of letters creatively rearranged together to make a picture of a skeleton hand clawing through the moon beams, or the wind’s blue tussle trying to uproot  black trunks from black loam. If painting had never existed, meaning had never existed, and words had never existed—So how do I write as if words had never existed?


Frank O’Hara: “
One day I am thinking of/ a color: orange. I write a line/ about orange. Pretty soon it is a/ whole page of words, not lines./ Then another page. There should be/ so much more, not of orange, of/ words, of how terrible orange is/ and life. Days go by. It is even in/ prose, I am a real poet. My poem/ is finished and I haven't mentioned
orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call/ it ORANGES.”

I try to write about how terrible the world is, but I wonder if there’s even a point to that anymore, as everyone already knows and has been trying to shape different shapes into displaying how terrible this world is. The Decemberists, my favorite folksy high-brow band’s latest (and most terrible) album is in fact, titled What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. The images Newman describes from nearly eighty years ago are fresh images in my mind:

skeletons in refugee camps
cities left to decay

places of worship bombed

We slip along some balance beam, trying to configure whether the good is balancing out the terrible. We already know The United States’ ideas of what is important for the country is truly the upside-down world our vision flips for our blind eyes. How do we begin to un-flip a nation who turns to problem-solving instead of violence?

These images don’t move me to action, they weigh me down. They make me realize how tiny I am, unable to stop the sufferings and injustices of the land I occupy. This immovability paralyzes. Weakens the spirit.


inspirare | we must build from the nonexistence of nonviolence

The absence of a benevolent god is so clearly expressed in the United States, and what is constructed to take its place? The creation of art, the creation of poetry, the poem itself can lead us into another movement of reflection, of building, of reconstructing a nation that is breathing in reverse.

Published by Kristiane Weeks-Rogers