Lookin’ to See Who’s Lookin’ at the Art Museum

I found myself people watching at this famous art museum

Everyone seemed more interested in the moving bodies

Rather than the framed stationary views

What is art after all, to these socialites?

It’s like a psychoanalyst’s tool perhaps.

How do we see the image?

Whose interpretation?

What is being analyzed and appreciated?

Or, criticized?

What was the object or the artist’s mind?

Does the artist care about peer acceptance, or the paying audience?

Observing the attendees, I felt they were involved in a dalliance

All with wine in hand hoping to look sexy, or at least, important

I have known artists who did not need flattery, not the dilettantes’ observations and usually uninformed thoughts

Dilettantes are most often anathemas to them

The artist knowing their criticism being steeped in feigned awareness of the erudite


Brings to mind, the idea of how various art forms might be perceived

Comparing randomly – Artists, Singers, Musicians and Poets


Art is left on canvas motionless but might create a moving visualization for some

The artist must wait for the observer’s reaction to his motionless painting

At that point they are an island in their mind, treading color hewed oiled waters

They are artists isolated from their sunken studio ship, hoping their canvas in a bottle is

Afloat for the finding, and for his economic rescue


A Singer, simply put, has to be heard

And is –

All one has to do is start singing out loud in public

They are instantly accepted or rejected

Determined by a willing, mostly tidily-wink-paying audience flipping coins to them

Measuring the enfilade to the musician’s grounded hat

Or, perhaps into a can.  Is that where the expression “Can Can” came from?


The Musician just is –

They deliver what is trained within and translated to the instrument

It is the sound of the instrument that draws people to them

The audience sits, stands or leaves sometimes without regard for the level of expertise of the musician

The ears of the audiences are so varied audiences only stay if the sounds resonate with their habits of taste in a music genre

Musicians usually have to play in groups to survive

The street musician might be tuning his instrument to the sound made from coins dropped in the cup


Now, the Poet

They are the least of the understood

Unlike other artists, they cannot show their wares so readily

Street corners are not great venues to display a turned word

There is no flypaper trap to connect with passing sidewalk gawkers

Poetry requires full concentration

A kind of cerebral warm up before exercising the focus of imagery

Poetry is not fast food digestion on the run

It is hard to read with mustard et al, dripping off your Nathan’s

It is not window-shopping “lookey loo”

It requires unfeigned interest

How can that audience be anything but small?

The poet is the lonely one living in muted self-expression

Reading, and thinking poetically – is trumped by other artists

Artists, Singers and Musicians provide their talents to passive audiences, who but sit, stand, look and listen


Ah, the poet, the orphan of the creative world

Their soliloquy finding few, but when the audience is found, with appreciative eyes,

These grateful readers sit quietly unseen by the Poet

It is the Poet’s unknown but felt, reward