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THE DEATH OF ART by Emanuel Xavier
“Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.”
-critic Harold Bloom, who first called slam poetry "the death of art.”

I am not a poet. I want to be rich and buy things for my family.
Besides, I am sort of popular and can honestly say I’ve had a great sex life.

I am not a poet. Georgia O' Keefe paintings do absolutely nothing for me. I do not feel oppressed or depressed and no longer have anything to say about the President.

I am not a poet. I do not like being called an "activist" because it takes away from those that are out on the streets protesting and fighting for our rights.

I am not a poet. I eat poultry and fish and suck way too much dick to be considered a vegetarian.

I am not a poet. I would most likely give my ass up in prison before trying to save it with poetry . . . and I’d like it! Heck, I’d probably be inspired.

I am not a poet. I may value peace but I will not simply use a pen to unleash my anger. I would fuck somebody up if I had to.

I am not a poet. I may have been abused and had a difficult life but I don’t want pity. I believe laughter and love heals.

I am not a poet. I am not dying. I write a lot about AIDS and how it has affected my life but, despite the rumors, I am not positive. Believe it or not, weight loss amongst sexually active gay men could still be a choice.

I am not a poet. I do not get Kerouac or honestly care much for Bukowski.

I am not a poet. I don’t spend my weekends reading and writing. I like to go out and party. I like to have a few cocktails but I do not have a drinking problem regardless of what borough, city or state I may wake up in.

I am not a poet. I don’t need drugs to open up my imagination. I've been a dealer and had a really bad habit but that was long before I started writing.

I am not a poet. I can seriously only tolerate about half an hour of spoken word before I start tuning out and thinking about my grocery list or what my cats are up to.

I am not a poet. I only do poetry events if I know there will be cute guys there and I always carry business cards.

I am not a poet according to the scholars and academics and Harold Bloom. I only write to masturbate my mind. After all, fucking yourself is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.

I am not a poet. I am only trying to get attention and convince myself that poetry can save lives when my words simply and proudly contribute to “the death of art.”
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