Imitation is without avail.
During the time of this performance Pat Robertson was running for President! Jesse Helms was also being very vocal about the "perverted" artists who get funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. My performance was an artist's response to them. I felt very much like an oppressed minority.
The guest doubts that he is a guest.
The character being shown in this piece had the name of the unifying element, the Birdman, but manifested itself as a mixture of the Mockingbird and Krishna. The Mockingbird was fighting for the sake of my livelihood. Krishna was fighting for the sake of my soul.
The army doubts the advisability of chariots.
This speech even expresses some of the concerns of the Dog. The Dog is concerned for the happiness, health, and well-being of others. The United States government has too often made me ashamed for its lack of concern for the human rights of citizens of other countries. Art becomes pretty small stuff compared with WAR!
Officers and men destroying children:
The tiger's angry growl
Excites to action;
It is like an eagle,
But distinct from it.
The great all-thundering roar
Shakes and terrifies the ear.
Held together, using crimson silk,
Cradled in the arms.
Art is my child, my wife and lover. It is not considered important especially to those who could care less if children are killed when their own financial gains are concerned.
The flags and banners,
Woven from silken gauze,
On the halberds -
The other members of BL Lacerta and I used to laugh about how the only way for us to make it as an ensemble would to somehow become the Army Avant Garde Quartet.
Imitation is conceiving.
My concerns for physical survival of myself and others as artists will be gone into in more detail in the Mockingbird's chapter. I must return to the idea of art being valuable for the soul.
Condolences in bereavement,
Grief dims the eyesight.
However, material concerns must creep in as they too often do in my life. Lack of funding is a major inhibitor for making art. My allies have helped me in this regard considerably. They are often in control so that I make art in spite of the political/economic environment. A more oppressive political environment sometimes spurs on the Mockingbird and Krishna for a good fight through art.
Declining and declining,
Seeing the sickness,
But not seeing the hearse.
What becomes the most stifling is the lack of ideological support. The ideas and discipline that I have thus far argued as being very healthy are openly slandered by elected officials as being perverse and corrupting. Even so-called non-political art becomes political in this environment.
Akin to Heaven.
The myriad things
Each one the refined beauty of the orchid.
United in intimacy;
The oppression of artists is almost literally a witch hunt. The corruption and perversity of the politicians themselves are being projected onto the artists. We are the hidden cause of their perversities. Do the oppressors not have souls just as we do? Or, do they secretly want the freedom of the soul for themselves alone? They just may be too conscious of their own fear and hatred to be able to perceive the perfect souls dwelling in themselves.
Prying but lacking the questions
Which are the gate to the great mysteries.
Once I performed a piece in which I read a piece written by Jesse Helms and published in the Scottish Rite Herald. His article was all the more distressing to me because I am his brother Scottish Rite Freemason. It openly declared that certain artists funded by the NEA are pediphiles who are promoting homosexuality at the expense of the American tax-payers. He was inferring specifically to Robert Maplethorpe and he obviously has no familiarity, let alone understanding, of Maplethorpe's body of work. Helms has no understanding of experimental art as research which benefits the health of the of the human race. He cannot see artists as the priests and shamans of our day. How can a fellow Mason not even try to grasp the mysteries that are encoded in our art? Did he somehow miss being initiated into the densely rich symbols of Freemasonry? His essay will be printed almost in full in Mockingbird's chapter since this is mostly his concern.