What happens when you get out of the way of your own thoughts? What else is going on in that head of yours? Are you thinking of candy cone ice cream blow pop Tootsie Roll sweet things?
Are you thinking at all?
If you’re not thinking, what is going on? What force is filling your head with who knows what? This makes no sense, and yet, it was exactly what happened just now. I sat on a faux leather chair, around 5 a.m., customary waking and writing time, and just watched my thoughts rush by. Then they stopped and I felt a rush of nothing, but something, fill my head. A FORCE. MOVEMENT. Creative vortex of energy running through the empty spaces in my skull.
Shit. More coffee is needed. This makes no sense at all. Or does it? I felt as if things were happening, still happening, even if I didn’t think. But I’ve been taught to think. Think things through. Analyze. Investigate. Process. Compare. Yes and no life to death. Go back and ponder what happened. Forecast futures.
Never just right here. In the moment. Rushing by. As fast as the moments truly are rushing by.
This must be what happens when you’re involved in a creative flow. Music. Art. Dance. Sports. Painting. Writing. Poetry. Letting a force through without stopping it with the mind. Thoughts. Judgements. Ego.
Just letting it through.
I have an entire Basquiat calendar pinned up and taped to my wall. I took an old calendar from last year and rather than toss it in the recycle bin, I “reused” it. Stuck it on my wall. Right in front of my computer. And what I’m seeing is… is a man in the throes of letting whatever force was rushing through him at that time rush THROUGH him. Out of his hands. His eyes. His mind. His fingers. His heart. His soul. His body. His BONES. This stuff seemed etched into his bones. He just transcribed it. It rushed out from the marrow of his badass bones. (And hell wherever else it was coming from...)
He let whatever was INSIDE bang into what was OUTSIDE. His life, the world, society, jazz and Jimi and racism and injustice and irony. A lot of irony in Basquiat’s work. The world is absurd. Copyright symbols abound. Life and lives bought and sold. Commodities.
And at some point in his success, his work became pure commodity. Just another thing to make money from.
He let it all through…
Just rushing out. FLYING OUT. Onto paper, canvas, wood doors, refrigerator doors. Whatever he could find or conjure up. A magician of visual delight and horror and ecstasy. Vast canvases of painted demons and life rushing through his heart and head. Bomb-ass brilliance. Really. You don’t sit around and ponder this shit. You don’t sit around and think this through to death. You don’t analyze. Or maybe you do. Seems as if this stuff Basquiat was puttin’ down just came out like a mad RUSHING waterfall of creativity. And he just surfed it onto the canvas.
Lines blowing off the surface like bebop jazz. Like Hendrix painted his guitar playing. Like John Coltrane took a crayon and scrawled his soul onto the flesh of a clean surface.
Life. Agony. Death. Color. Flow. Raw madness turned beauty.
Joy. Joy, too. Joy of the dance. Life dancing through his fingers. Just gettin’ it down. Layin’ it down. Lettin’ it OUT.
Looking at Basquiat’s work is like reading a calculus textbook tagged like graffiti on the subway train of his loud ass very fast too-short life. Random patterns not random but coming from a higher, unknown logic. Thrown up street-style bebop city madness. Tagging the wall of the world with a message from another world. Cave painter from the future.
Shapes and sounds, color, rhythm, syncopated jagged flow stuck on a flat 2-dimensional surface.
This is some punk-ass shit. Energy of punk music. Bustin’ from the punk energy of pure FLOW.
FORCE OF SOUND FORMING VISUAL FLOW. Nothing is still. Nothing stays stagnant. There are no “still” lifes in Basquaits work.
Some painters paint a bowl of fruit sitting perfectly still on a table. Basquait was like Van Gogh. All is saw was MOVEMENT. Everything is alive.
NOTHING stays still. Even if you don’t think. Life is still rushing through you.
His work is LOUD. That's another observation. Basquiat's work is LOUD art. Even when it seems calm. There's an underlying energy that's LOUD and STRONG.
This is what happens when you get out of the way of your own thoughts and let your own true self rush through into life.
The canvas of your day.
Just letting it through…
©2022 Bruce Palma. All rights reserved.