I am signaling you through the flames.
What are artivists for, in such an age?
What is the use of art?
If you would be an artivist, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this means sounding apocalyptic.
If you call yourself an artivist, don’t just sit there. Art is not a sedentary occupation, not a take your seat practice. Stand up and let them have it.
And the people, the people, yes, all around the earth, speaking Babel tongues. Give voice to them all.
If you would be an artivist, speak new truths that the world can’t deny.
Make it new news.
Write beyond time.
Reinvent the idea of truth.
Reinvent the idea of beauty.
Be subversive, constantly questioning reality and the status quo.
Strive to change the world in such a way that there’s no further need to be a dissident.
Hip Hop and Rap your way to liberation.
Read between the lives and write between the lines.
Your images in a poem should be jamais vu, not déjà vu.
Words can save you where guns can’t.
Reinvent America and the world.
Climb the Statue of Liberty.
Mistrust metaphysics, trust in the imagination and re-fertilize it.
Instead of trying to escape reality, plunge into the flesh of the world.
Give a voice to the tongueless street.
Make common words uncommon.
Poet, be God’s spy, if God exists.
Painter, paint his eye, if He has one.
Be an eye among the blind.
Be naive, non-cynical, as if you had just landed on earth, astonished by what you have fallen upon.
Like a Buddhist, listen to your own breathing.
Think long thoughts in short sentences.
If an action has to be explicated, it’s a failure in communication.
Whatever an artivist says about his/her work is an apology he/she shouldn’t make.
No ideas but in the senses. Nihil in intellectu quod non prius in sensu.
If you would be a great artist, associate with thinking activists. They’re hard to find.
Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.
Sweep away the cobwebs.
Cultivate dissidence and critical thinking. First thought may be worst thought.
Resist much, obey less.
Challenge capitalism masquerading as democracy.
Challenge all political creeds, including radical populism and hooligan socialism.
Exceed everyone’s great expectations and hack prophecies.
Glory in the pessimism of the intellect and the optimism of the will.
Express the inexpressible.
Be also a rooster, waking up the world.
Don’t blow bubbles of despair.
Generate collective joy in the face of collective gloom.
Secretly liberate any being you see in a cage.
Stand up for the stupid and crazy.
Be a wolf in the sheepfold of silence.
Don’t let them tell you art is bullshit.
Have a good laugh at those who tell you activists are mistifs or potential terrorists and a danger to the state.
Don’t let them tell you art is a neurosis that some people never out-grow.
Don’t ever believe art is irrelevant in dark times.
Don’t let them tell you artists and activists are parasiti.
Don’t believe them when they tell you nobody buys the penny stock of poetry in the stock market of our casino culture.
Mock those who tell you you’re living in a dream world. Dream your own reality. Camp out ont the shores of reality.
Dare to be a non-violent poetic guerilla, an anti-hero.
Temper your most intemperate voice with compassion.
Remember that men & women are infinitely ecstatic, infinetely suffering beings.
Don’t destroy the world unless you have something better to replace it.
Be commited to something outside yourself.
Be passionate about it.
If you would snatch fame from the flames, where is your burning bow, where your arrows of desire, where your wit on fire?
The master class starts wars; the lower classes fight them. Governements lie. The voice of the governement is often not the voice of the people.
SPEAK UP. ACT OUT. SILENCE IS COMPLICITY.
WAKE UP, THE WORLD’S ON FIRE!
Have a nice day.
-a new version of Lawrence Ferlinghetti populist manifesto
Poetry as INSURGENT ART