Igor Mitoraj's sculpture, Feminine d'Icare
photo by and © Jean Francois Lefevre
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w h y I a m n
o t a s c u l p t o r
m a r k m u r p h y
Like the poet, Frank O'Hara, I am not a sculptor
but a poet (at least) according to my friends
I am a man who passes himself off as a poet.
Why? Because poetry is the property of no one.
Because stone and point would not obey
the commands of a man obsessed with oblivion.
Because the light universe is no place
for a man who lives in dreams.
Because I am in awe of Igor Mitoraj.
I am alone in the too darkened quarries
of my imagination, picking through the debris of time,
exhuming the dead, picking through the bones
of my poor dead relatives. What am I to do
without hammer or chisel? I am too many centuries old
to start over. And I am dumb beside you
because we can no longer talk or laugh at the silliness
of being who we are. More centuries pass.
Because I am not a sculptor, I am forced
on to the back foot once again.
Because I am not a sculptor, I am transfixed
by life rendered in stone. And I say to the sculptor,
'I cannot suppress my desire to be a sculptor.'
And the sculptor answers back, 'I cannot suppress
my desire to be a poet.' And perhaps we are, each of us,
what the other wishes to be, if only
for a short time - in the margins of some other story.