Courage of Fear Quotes of the Day discussion

Damn Dan, The Art of The Bard (Difference between writing and ranting)

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message 1: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Boyer (barbara_boyer) | 34 comments Mod
I remember once reading an article in the New York Times about an artist. This artist put sperm to canvas. Yes, that's right folks, no misspelling or senior moment. I said SPERM. Now many of you may have the same knee-jerk reaction I did when reading it… yuck. Who the hell would buy something like that? Who would want that hanging in their dining room? That is the most disgusting thing. As I read on, I couldn't believe it, that artist sold one piece for upward half a mill. That's right folks. So head to Michaels and get out the porn! I learned a very valuable lesson reading that article. As an artist, critiquing other's work, beware.
Over the years many people have asked me to give them feedback on their writing, whether it be prose, lyrics, scripts, or novels. First let me state, I believe all writers are artists. One cannot, must not, ever judge art hastily (need I mention sperm here?)… hence, discouraging an artist in an already waiting for you to fail medium. That being said, there is a craft to the art of writing that changes a rant or stream of written thoughts to a finished work; a craft I still work to cultivate. The finished piece, unlike in other art, can be evaluated for mass appeal.
Many artists send me their songs or poems, which in my opinion are still in the stream of thoughts or rants, moreover, unfinished pieces. It is through those works I get to know people better, yet nothing more; an artist's beginning. I question, is that what the individual is trying to accomplish, me getting to know them better? Or are they trying to be an artist, a legacy?
So, what does mass appeal and legacy mean? In my opinion mass appeal is the writer's ability to lead an audience in a direction that mandates them to use their imaginations to get to a destination. Hence, the writer has made his world join with the world of their audience; where two are now one. Once one with the audience the writer is never forgotten and becomes a legacy.
I like to explain it this way. I believe good writing, whether it is lyrics or prose or fiction is like good foreplay. The writer leads his/her audience on a journey (foreplay) to a destination (making love). The two (what the mind imagines during the journey, and the destination itself) are never exactly the same.
Too many writers today, whether in song, or poetry, or literature, just screw their audience (rant or stream of thoughts). They leave out a key ingredient, the ride. The ability to fully join with the writer through one's own imagination. It is sad really and I believe also the reason so many artist do not make it.
As an audience I want to be one with the song or the poem or the story. I want to be one with the artist; to make their journey my journey. If you just give it to me we just screwed and then walk away forgetting each other.
Good writing brings the audience in. It lets our imaginations be lead and expand in wonder and awe. The two make love. Two souls unite and are never forgotten... longing for the experience again and again.
Imagine for a moment if you will:
Janis sings, "windshield wipers slurping time," leading us that the end was a matter of time.
Zeppelin sings, "and she's buying the stairway to heaven," leading us to a junkie paying good money for his own death.
Etta James, "Dame those eyes," leading us to damn your ass.
Nicks after telling us of the landslide bringing them down sings "mirror in the sky what is love," leading us to understand she is questioning the teachings of her youth and her skewed perception of love as an adult as a result of it.
Now think about how different those legacies would be if Janis sang he's one foot out the door; Plant bellowed, smacks killing me, no matter how pretty the ride, and I am paying for it; Etta screamed out you're a prick, a cute one, but a prick all the same; and Nicks said I was abused as a child so I am incapable of real love. I wouldn't even be mentioning it. There would be no legacy at all. I wouldn't have cared. I wouldn't have listened, let alone remembered.
The way the artist sang them made my mind dance with their minds. They forced my imagination to be a part of the journey and relate to it… to make it my own. They made me think about what they were saying.
It is not an easy skill. As a matter of fact, it is flipping difficult for some of us, which is why I do not write poetry or lyrics… because they are the hardest mediums to accomplish this.
Since being on myspace the amount of individuals requesting I read or listen to their work, in such a small amount of time, has been mind boggling. Many pieces are mere rants or streams. One artist's song must have told me 15 times that she left him… who cares?
Now, one artist on myspace who I have come to call Damn Dan exemplifies perfection in the relationship between artist and audience. He reports to being 25 years-old. I swear he is the incarnate of Yeats himself. At some point with each and every piece of his work I have read, "Damn, Dan," come out of my mouth. "Damn, Dan. You are incredible."
With Dan's permission, I am including a piece below for you to read for yourself. I am doing this just as one artist sharing another. I am not a review agency, nor do I wish to be. If you haven't checked out his work, go to my myspace page,, go to my top friends list and click on Dan. I strongly recommend everyone to read him. Give him feedback. And if you are a publisher or agent you should snag him up quick. Mark my words, you heard it here, this kid is in the beginning of a legacy.

You Are Rising Balloon
Category: Writing and Poetry

You are a rising balloon,
far above the barren trees
where others have been
caught in thorn and branch.

If it were but a matter
of giving you words,
those bows of promise
bent in ocean swaths,
then they would materialise
on the quiver of my
desperate lips.

But it is not,
and my heart aches
in sight of your hand
glazing brass knocker.

Far above the dusty fields
you rise above us all,
and I run into the forest,
to mountain river layer,
the base, the rise of lime stone
to climb the heights
for which you drift
with effortless beauty.

If it were but a matter
of kissing your shaking brow,
that bank of deliberation,
of countless watchful twilights
where dreams take shape
in the dry of cold wine,
then I would lift your chin
to lay my lips against the
tremble of your thoughts.

And I climb the stone,
the mountain edge,
thunder of violin wind,
keeping eye on your accent,
your red inching
up beyond the slope of tree.

It is but a matter
of helpless trust,
illusive in the quell
of slow ticking
of past discrepancies,
of walking monster corpses,
their betrayal of you,
cutting a vein of
good morning bitten fear.

And I trust you,
in the shiver of dawn,
as evening bakes its shadows
for one last walk of lovers
at river bank song.

I trust you
to cradle my dreams with
magnificent understanding,
and as you do I shall weep
in the shadow of the night.

But lay your sorrows
at the feet of the lion,
for he sleeps at his puddle,
meek as a wandering leaf,
his growl is now but a
false note in the lifting
orchestra of our living.

And I find my balance
at the tip of the mountain,
for once ahead of your rise,
the speckled colour of the others
in the valley trees,
now lay their enterprise
in the devouring mist.

One leap of faith,
arms as wings in the wind,
a helpless smile of acceptance,
and I fly slowly toward you,
as dive of the swallow
to ring hand about your string,
and I close my eyes
as we head for the thundering clouds,
to pass them by with time,
to whisper secrets
in silent whirlpool of stars.

Damn, Dan. You are incredible.

message 2: by Carol (new)

Carol Hope (hopeprovider) | 1 comments Wonderful way of starting my day. Good writing. Thank you Barbara. Carol

message 3: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Boyer (barbara_boyer) | 34 comments Mod
Hello Carol... so glad you like it. thanks for letting me know. Sometimes here at my computer I feel a bit like a van morrison song "what's the sound of one hand clapping..." have a grand weekend. b

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