Guard Your Art With Diligence

Continuing my Notes to Self on the art:

Guard your Art with Diligence
They want your art to reach people and places you, the artist, can’t and wouldn’t reach.

It – the art – has to speak languages you don’t even understand. It has to get to borderlines of war and peace; of oppression and equity. It has to criticize and it has to judge (judge not that you may not be judge? Well your art has been judged!). Your art has to think and make others think. Your art has to trouble the waters and it must not sink when it walks on said-waters. ‘Peace be still‘ will be for your art when you arrive so bring it and most importantly, your art has to be on its own. Be able to live in another house from you, talk differently, talk back at you when you write, play lawn tennis with you even if it’s just you against the wall (pun intended!). Your art must set you against the world. If it doesn’t do this they (check previous post)don’t believe you.

You art has to have a heart.

Your art must fall in love and love others just like it loves itself. Your art must be ready to follow you for sacrifice even when there is no ram in sight (yes! remember Abraham and Isaac?). Your art must walk by faith and not by sight. You must teach your art to pray, to believe; to trust; to own itself because when you are gone, it would be left alone to fight for itself. Your heart must love but it must love you and this is very difficult because your art is a teenager every other day.

Which brings you to the tough one.

Your art must not be raped by the wrong ideology.

In fact your art must keep it’s virginity till… Well forever because if your art becomes a mother of anarchy, wrong doctrine and false perception, the wrong perspective and all the bad secenerios of the world today, you are a bad Parent artist. So curb your art when it talks back at you but listen to your art when it is hungry. When it is angry, admit why and provide the answers why it shouldn’t. Your art is pious if you think it is and it is the best to see this too. On a second thought, your art should get pregnant at the right time. Good art brings good doctrine, wisdom and long life.

Your art has no gender but it is endangered.

Giant-Panda kind of endangered. Your art is not feminist, racist, Marxist masculinist, fascists and all that; you are! You are a bottle, your art is wine and ugly wine-shapes are because the bottles aren’t so beautiful. Not to state the actual scenerio. Your art is bitter because you are. Your art hurts people like knife piercing through the heart almost like a double-edged sword because you either are a swordsman or woman; that or you’ve been equally hurt. Your art is you but don’t try to be your art. It is dangerous.

To be continued

This Art is not Yours I

This world is not my home
I’m just a-passing through

Thank you Jim Reeves, I’ll take it from here now.

(clears his throat)

This is a note I wrote to self about writing because the pressure could sometimes make one forget how to even do what one was ordained to do when it comes to a paper and pen or fingers and an Android phone’s keyboard (in most recent times).

This Art is not yours

We make art – not for ourselves, alone but – for others. And this “others” are people who wait for us in our dreams, when we are awake, in the darkness and and even in the market. In our lifetime, we may never know them even if we want to but they are expectant and as a word of encouragement, they really exist.

They would need your art to say something serious.

Not too serious like SERIOUS so that they don’t mistake you for one without the inclination to have fun but serious in how David kills a Goliath and it gets them asking: how did…?

They want your art to mean something

First to you and then to them but to you first and most importantly to you. Because if you can’t strike the importance of what you give, it’s not even important. This is the space for passion. The kind of drive and blood that keeps you awake even when your body wails for sleep. The motivation to push further so that when you are done crossing the Red Sea, the Pharaoh wouldn’t want to follow because it’s a miracle that you still breathe after making your art.

They want your art to scare you.

Not Casper the ghost scaring humans kind of scare or tattoo all over the face kind but SCARE you. So to meet up, your art stays in your reflection: when you admire yourself, you are reminded; when you walk, you are reminded; when you talk, you can hear two voices arguing and it’s your mouth that is the speaker. Then you ask, who are the people really holding the microphone? That should scare you and that’s another story for another note to self.

This scare is not confusion because you know what it is but it should still scare you. It should scare you in the way Peter was afraid when he denied Jesus trice. That’s the scare they want or else your art isn’t worth it.

To be continued shortly.

Feature Art by Nathan Pieterse


Have you not seen those children
Who spit at the body
Of their mother
nude upon the streets
Which they built with her blood
Decorating the boulevards
With her widdering hair and
Her lips, soiled with curses
Bleeding away.

Have you not seen those children
Who glory in the under garments
Of their mother
Whose words are darts to the sufferings
She bore, building their minds
She swore, hoarding the pain
She tore, through fist and mist
And now, she is a score old
Unburied because she apparently knows nothing – dead

Have you not seen those children
Who whisper lasciviously
Boasting in the ravage of this land
Combed by those violent tributes
Where crude voices altar the praise
Of their mother’s pierced eyes
Her judgement impaled
I know you are watching them
By peeping through window holes
I know you are watching this brokenness
I know you know that it returns
This shame and neglect; I know you forgot

Gateway to Heaven

…but this is not the gateway to heaven

not this memory-sprout and fruited-nostalgia

or is it all just a beautiful game

coming and going through these worlds

recollecting sometimes that we lived

before the universe was spat from the mouth of the creator


This is not the gateway to heaven:

waiting for the good times

forgetting that we all came from a time in the future

best called by the name ‘past’

this is not the better day

looking for rewards and waiting again

for twilight

Dear Dad #1


Dear dad,

It’s clear that my mind is as cloudy as when it’s about to rain; but I’m scared of even admitting that. I know I’m at fault; I’m always at fault.

I want to do it all myself, but then again I wish I could. I know you have thrilling expectations for me, from me; but the truth is I don’t think I can reach them, not the way you would expect. Now I’m supposed to say exactly how I feel and state the problem but the thing is, I’m the problem and my feelings…I doubt they still belong to me.

I have so much to say but each time I attempt to utter a word, I choke. I would tell you the truth but what if the truth I know is a lie? What if I am not sure anymore?

Someone said that “whatever you think the problem is, it’s not the actual problem, there is always something smaller behind it.”

So I’ll start with a subtle, hoping this would clear the board a little “I’m sorry.”

Your little love,