As close to an honest story as I'm capable of. #flashfiction #shortstory https://t.co/wlp2YyEJw3 https://t.co/blT4yyxljz (2 days ago)

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Jul
9

starving artists

Who goes to a starving artist sale? I’ve never understood the marketing strategy of identifying artists who are so bad that they will literally starve to death because nobody is buying their work and then collecting their work for a big sale. Would you go to a starving dentist with a tooth ache, call a starving plumber if your toilet exploded or use a starving accountant if you’re being audited by the IRS? Only if you wanted to be the guy in agony who lost his shit-stained house to the government. The point being, why would anyone decorate their homes with art from a starving artist?

Looking at it from another angle, why would an artist ever refer to themselves as a “starving” in the first place? Perhaps they are thinking that somehow starving equates to suffering and most people assume that any great work of art involves some suffering.

They might ask why anyone would buy a love song from a musician who had never been heartbroken, how anyone could be moved by a sonnet from a poet that had never felt loss or listen to a jam band that had never dropped acid.

Why is it when they say “starving artist” we assume they mean painters? There has to be plenty of other artistic people not making a living. Here’s a funny thing I wrestle with, if you don’t mind me talking about myself for a moment. I consider myself a writer and I consider writers as artists but I don’t consider myself an artist. I guess I just don’t think sitting around writing down dumb things is art.

It makes me wonder if the next thing I write isn’t somehow based on either jealousy or resentment. Of course, I could just be validating my feelings of being someone who writes but doesn’t create art.

What is this next thing I’m about to write?

Obviously all you have to do is keep reading and it will come. Clearly I can’t sneak in another thought before it without losing my train of thought so just hold your horses.

I have a clever thing to say about that expression but that would be violating the very pact I just spent the last few sentences outlining so I will give it a miss and plow ahead.

I think attendance at these so-called “starving artists” sales would be much improved if people thought that they would be seeing actually starving artists. Artists in the act of starving. Maybe because they think that in their disorientated and demented state they would be creating some interesting stuff or perhaps deep down people like to watch other people suffer.

The inner dick inside all of us.

I hope at this juncture you don’t mind if I talk about myself again. This isn’t a painting; you can’t just go looking anywhere you want.

I spend a lot of time wrestling my inner dick and trying to drag it out into the light. Like when I’m driving and I don’t put on my turn signal but I’m slowing down to turn and the car waiting to pull out decides to go and I grudgingly turn when what I really want to do is speed up and hit it broadside because technically I’m in the right. I want to feel that burst of self-righteous rage. I want to lay on the horn and curse. I feel my inner dick squirming inside me. Sometimes squirming, sometimes screaming.

I remind myself that I did in the end turn and that I’m not a horrible person and that it’s been at least 15 years since I littered but for those few seconds I know that my inner dick is alive and well.

And waiting.

Waiting to go to a “starving artist” sale and hoping that they are actively starving and also hoping that it’s not just painters. Who among us hasn’t wanted to watch a mime starve to death in front of us? How poignant would that be?

It would beautiful. Powerful. Majestic. Haunting.

And funny as fuck.

Writers slumped on top of their laptops and typewriters tapping out their final incoherent thoughts. I’m not an artist but I gotta tell you, I could eat.

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