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Who Are We?

We are a small group of passionately ambitious

artists

located

in

the

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beautiful Willamette Valley! We are awesome, and love other awesome people. Like you! We want to become a resource for artists of all creeds. We are here to support, inspire, and teach one another and everyone who wishes to create. We represent visual, literary,

musical,

theatrical

artists

and everyone in between. We are a network of infinite possibilities of creation.

Midnight Muse was created by Neebinnaukzhik Southall and Sarah Page. All photographs and layout designs are from them. Want to contribute? Email us!


Cover Art

Table of Contents

“Creationism” by Chris Wilhelm

Call to Art! Back Inside Cover, Designed by Neebinnaukzhik Southall

Who Are We?....................................................................................................2 Find Us!.............................................................................................................4 Artist Submissions Tina Marie Fisher (collaborative), Peacock.................................................................................................6 Ryan Doran, The Pink Dress.............................................................................................................................7 Mae Lo D, Overcome............................................................................................................................................8 Nancey Jamieson, Hecate Speaks,................................................................................................................9 Amy Booker, Japanese Fan............................................................................................................................10 Shaylynn Allen, Perspectives..........................................................................................................................11 Laura Witham, Greek Tragedy.......................................................................................................................12 Patricia Smith, Livid..............................................................................................................................................13 Sandi Elle, Women...............................................................................................................................................14 Monti Medley, Even the Silences Were Loud.................................................................................15 Coyle Parker, Organic Entanglement......................................................................................................16 Harrison White, Actaeon....................................................................................................................................17 Koa Tom, Soft Spot..............................................................................................................................................18 Davey Cadaver, It Can’t Rain All the Time...........................................................................................19 Xaviar Lopez, Skeleton in a Cave...........................................................................................................20 Jonathan January, Burl Sculpture..............................................................................................................21 Emily Marr, LUNGS................................................................................................................................................22 Boz Schurr, Autopsy..........................................................................................................................................23 Kristin Hayes, Tropical Beauty........................................................................................................................24 Megan Marie, The Starving Children of Africa..............................................................................25 Isabella Vickers, Muse of Truth...................................................................................................................26

Featured Artist: Chris Wilhelm....................................................................27 Persephone Athene: 9/1986–Infinity.........................................................36 Nietzsche’s Aesthetics..................................................................................38 Open TF Collaboratives................................................................................40 Poetry VS Song-Writing: Is there a difference?......................................44 Sarah’s Blog: The Beautiful People..............................................................46

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Earrings and Headdress | Tina Marie Fisher Photography | Leslie Carpenter Model | Keri Atkins Make-Up | Rebecca Anderson Hair | Ashley Berlin


Ryan Doran

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Mae Lo D

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I see you coming, all along I’ve seen you. When you reach this place

Hecate Speaks by Nancey Jamieson

where moonlight washes down on

an opening in the road,

where the road breaks apart into separate roads,

stop. Stop for a moment in this white-cool illumined spot

and look back.

Look over your shoulder at what was

the vast approach

that brought you here.

I watched you as if you carried a lantern,

a weaving flicker of distant light

traveling closer, a speck sometimes disappearing

altogether in the dips of the road.

How your gait has changed over the years,

your girl legs lengthening,

confusion, a hurried age in which

your heels barely touched ground.

but found yourself on a path with sidetracks,

distracted, you kept losing the way, the main way

others were going.

At times you skimmed along lightly by the love

of a man with a blond beard; or

you staggered under weights--surgery and rape,

then inched forward where it was darkest.

I’ve seen you at junctions where you turned

onto new paths, leaving behind

bottles of gin, an ovary,

a small French ‘cello, a dog with a golden coat.

Now you are here at the crossroads.

Your gait has slowed.

You are dead still,

studying the roads ahead, each possibly

darker than the one you’ve come from.

Are you waiting for instructions? Are you wondering if I’ll walk the way for you? Here’s what I can offer: Stay awhile. Stay until the signpost is clear. When you go, I will follow

like moonlight.

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You wanted to follow others


Amy Booker

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Perspectives by Shaylynn Allen

Can you see what I see? There are two ways to take this video, two different major perspectives to experience about the subjects of color, journeys, and finding beauty in the ordinary.

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Perspectives


Greek Tragedy by Laura Witham

In Memoriam: Persephone Athene, (Sept. 6, 1984–May 15, 2012) “Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day: It was the nightingale, and not the lark, That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear; Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree: Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.” —William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

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T

he morning she left, I’d dreamt of death.

a beginning. Tears fill the Cascades’

It’d kept me awake, but not aware. A false

streams and the Willamette; our embraces

oracle I was, that I didn’t realize it was her.

light the hearth and coax the sun out of the

A false seer, in that I believed not the present

darkened bed where she lies, so we

nor the future; thought someone had gotten the

can ask him: “How is Persephone?

legend wrong; she was simply asleep and still alive.

Stay awhile, and tell us.” Will we do

The Underworld has taken her from us--

this every year for the rest of time, to

but not for six months, nor a year. He’s not

bring the spring without her help?

giving her back, no matter how the earth

If that’s what it takes to know she’s all right, that Cerberus stops growling,

beneath out feet quakes her name up our

wags his tail, and curls up at her feet.

shuddering spines. We could crack a million

That all the little things she left behind

pomegranate seeds between our teeth; let were for memories, not sadness--sugar their thin, sticky wine pour over our tongues.

and spice and everything nice, snips

Hades still wouldn’t make a trade. Spring was

and snails and puppy dog tails--the one

no time for her to leave us. But life is like

girl truly made of everything. With this

that. Life, her specialty, billows around us

thought, I remember her last name--

in every magnolia blossom, maple leaf,

wise and always full of a righteous fight,

every pollen-encrusted bee--a farewell,

willing to let me lay secrets at her altar.

a bridal train dragging on her descent.

My thanks to her, for being Bacchus at

What will we do on the Longest Night,

every feast, acting as cupid,--even

when we know she won’t return? Light a thousand more candles her closed eyes can’t see? I suppose it’s a start. Grief is

without intention--bringing life, wisdom, and strength. For joining my choir of muses, even while she sleeps.


Patricia Smith

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Sandi Elle

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Monti Medley


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Coyle Parker


ACTAEON by Harrison White

The early morning washes with rain

Spotted, duty duly, the deer runs,

A bright naiad return with open bloom

And he spasms for the chase,

Irises open, his eyes within the sparkle,

Muscle memory held back only by light,

Unshaven he, mirror glanced and chewing

O, the bright blight of light,

The bagel momentum in palace of the sun.

And for the library reminder: Snapshot of a book once opened

A rising morning pleasing fox showers

Prone at the table of the mind

To remembrance of

Wildwood sketches of stag and dog…

Curtain calls, the stool she sat, the eyeballs Popping wolf tuned grimace of the chase

Here, a few words are gone,

The petals dusty on the floor and

Dashed off with the doe, gone,

The sick taste of false ambrosia burned

Gone, in utterance of the perhaps.

With the bitter smile of after all. The white blinds a bridal veil, The green all sapped, all bleached.

Stepping through cracked dust paths

He remembers a distant lake,

Blazed retinal recollections of a wash away,

A boast of chase, his former chance,

A sailing ship in summer storm,

Thin dew drawing sinewy, a virgin body,

And the lightning raping through.

Breasts clutched tight, and the stomach, And below, past the long-used muscles,

No direction, a darker day indeed

The water-flower reflection of the mystery.

For all the white shine, A park of pearl born nothingness,

Would he but give chase, words dynamite,

Banging the veil against his head,

Every syllable a transformation,

Birthing from the green.

Every thought a danger— The bitches, dream-stuffed with seed,

Stepping towards the gaslight gate

Blew back with teeth to rip and kill.

Of iron and imagination, The fire-sight at the end of his drive.

He paused too long, could not give chase,

Creeping ivy and a trellis anticipation,

The doe escaped through a further copse.

The hung deep sun bright poured air—

The red of boots gnashed against the soil,

Air from air into the tangle ground.

Dashed a crimson streak against the former bed; He could not give chase, for the trance,

Amongst the grass he spies –Ah! but,

For the creation of a better self,

He breathes, coughs, sighs…

But, boots pushing the wind,

Some silent specter sphere catches

He tangled down a brush path.

All the noise and oxygen Distilling spirits far away.

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Red boots on against the mud,


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Koa Tom


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Davey Cadaver


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Xavier Lopez


Jonathan January

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Lungs

by Emily Marre

if you are vibrations if you are voice substantiated by a lack so solid then I will be the membrane between sky and blood

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compressing, collapsing I am a contortionist of flesh visceral conduction you are idea exhaled a pulse of conception a womb born in the ripping of alveolar motion I am warm with iron torn from the soil lying in soft supposition waiting


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Boz Schurr


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Kristin Hayes


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Megan Marie


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Isabella Vickers


e h l i W

d eature sue 3 F

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s i r Ch lm

Artist

Is

The Rat King


Nemesis

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Nemesis was first submitted to us in Issue 1. We fell in love with Chris’ work immediately. His work is powerful, and not just in one’s reception of it. The subject itself has been imbued with the unruly forces of the world.


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There is a magical decay in his work. It’s ancient. Not one part is left stagnant. The canvas is not filled with random elements...they are occupied with figures taking on a life of their own, experiencing the piece Chris has created with you.


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1937


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Jinenji’s Dream


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There is this “bigger than life” quality to all of his work. There is a beautiful magnificance within every stroke of his brush. You feel smaller in comparison to something your mind is trying to comprehend. Your eyes waltz and you can’t help but smile in awe.


Didn’t you love this issues cover art? That, too, is from Featured Artist Chris Wilhelm. It is called “Creationism” and it was also first submitted to us in Issue 1. My husband Daniel and I got to head up to his studio in Salem and view his awesome work in detail and learn more about him and his process. We exchanged our little professional niceties, asked some cheesy cliche interview questions but what I enjoyed most from our short time together was his warm personality and the tangents he went off on. You could tell how deeply connected he is to his work. Chris got his introduction to art in general from his mother. She creates brilliant loose and free flowing watercolors. There were always supplies lying around for Chris to play around with as a child. He remembers being tormented by nightmares and being able to pick up a paintbrush allowed him to work through the dark feelings. “It actually turned into a really positive thing.” A lot of these dark thoughts are evident in much of his work. We commented on how wonderful we thought the sort of postapocolyptic look was and how it enchanted us. He told us, “...not 34 | inspire

a lot of people appreciate the apocalyptic kind of thing because, you know, it’s dark and reminds them of negative feelings...but for me, it’s very very therapeutic. It’s kind of a personal aesthetic I just go to.” The look also draws from his love of science fiction and video games, or “visual excellence.” And I love that he mentioned gaming, because his choice of color palette always sparked my interest. The blues and oranges he frequents reminded me of those old school games with bold colors. Of course, since they’re complimentary colors they typically go well with each other and create a lot of contrast but I was curious if there was a particular reason for this. Chris was an ‘80’s child, you see, and all that 8-bit gaming really stuck with him. I also told him how Creationism reminded me of an old airbrushed van from the ‘80’s and he showed me how he created some of the fades and star flares with an airbrushing technique. Chris did the job thing for a bit, but once he started picking up gigs he felt he could make “artist” his full time career. At first the jobs were trickling in...a childrens mural here, commissioned piece there....but it’s been about a year now and things have really snowballed. His newfound success has allowed him to get into a field he has always had his eyes set on: automotive airbrushing.


Chris had been wanting to experiment with airbrushing for awhile when he got his chance and painted his friends bike. With an awesome Zombie Call of Duty motif, too.

Chris showed us how he stripped the bike apart and mapped out his design with tape.

Zombie+Call of Duty=YES. This nerd and her husband just about freaked when he sent us the pictures of his first automotive piece. I didn’t ask if the images being taken in a graveyard was intentional or just a random coincidence, but it made me giggle none the less.

There was a bit of a learning curve, he told us, and he had to train his eyes to follow his hands, but clearly he caught on super fast! Chris is super excited to have finally found his niche and is excited about his future as an automotive airbrush artist. 1) He absolutely loves the medium, and says it’s the most satisfying he’s worked with. 2) It pays very well and 3) the client base usually want the same style Chris normally leads to in his own

In the image below, Chris showed us his next project, his Tron Bike! It’s currently a WIP but

Oh, and did I mention this is a TRON bike?

All in all, Chris is just an awesome guy with an amazing talent. We know he will go far with his work because of his ambition and the guts he has shown....jumping into becoming a professional artist can be dangerous...it is a competitive field, it’s why we have so many starving artists out there. And with the way things are going for him, I don’t see him going hungry anytime soon.

I feel like I’ve found my niche. perhaps he’ll ride it to the show. Who knows, maybe you’re at the show right now and just got back in from looking at how awesome it is!

artwork, like flaming skulls and dragons and such.

Check out more of Chris’ work here:

http://www.chriswilhelmart.com/

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Persephone Athene

8

September 6, 1984 -


I can’t ‘grieve’ Persephone. I can’t lump her into the category of ‘the deceased’. She means too

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much, she represents everything that is living to me, not everything that is dead. I just can’t.


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Apollo and Dionysus Virginie Pithon


Nietzsche’s Aesthetics As a philosopher most concerned with questions such as how we as people should

relate to one another and our environment, how modern social structures exacerbate human suffering, and so on, it is an interesting

change of pace for me to explore the field of aesthetics and write an article for

and dancers represent the Dionysian unity as

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actors play out a familiar story of death and

—Joel Southall

absorption of the individual hero into the primal unity. In this sense, rather than simple

explanation of the Apollonian and Dionysian,

oblivion, the death of the tragic hero becomes

two concepts first voiced by Nietzsche in

a sublime and artistic affirmation of life and

The Birth of Tragedy. My thought is that

the natural interplay of the two forces. This,

Nietzsche’s

Dionysian

Nietzsche expounds, “proves itself to be the

dichotomy provides an interesting lens in

eternal and original power of art, since it calls

which to structurally interpret art. These

into being the entire world of phenomena.”

Apollonian

and

polar aesthetic principles might be better understood first through identification of the

Beyond

two Greek gods, Apollo and Dionysus, upon

understanding

whom the two concepts are based.

Apollonian

acting

simply of

as

an

abstract

art,

one

could

philosophy

held

dominance

say

during the Enlightenment-era, as thinkers Apollo is the god of the sun, embodying

saw greatest beauty in the use of ordered

order and rationality, whereas Dionysus is

reason and logic to bring forth understanding

the god of intoxication and revelry, as well as

of the universe and manipulation of the

representative of the abstract and distorted.

natural world. In the context of art, works

It is from these deities that Nietzsche formed

requiring analytic ability, such as those of

the two distinct and corresponding concepts.

Renaissance polymath Leonardo Da Vinci, are

more

closely

Apollonian.

Dionysian

Nietzsche saw Apollonian Greek art of the

philosophy,

Archaic, or Doric, and Classical periods

mysticism,

(approximately 800-300 BC) as birthed from

nature of the human spirit, could be said to

an effort to resist the of suffering of reality,

be exemplified by Romanticism which arose

thus explaining the orderly beauty of Greek

in reaction to Enlightenment-era bull-headed

art as a concerted effort to resist the chaos

focus on rationality. Arguably, modern art,

of Dionysus. Though the Hellenistic period

such as that of Pablo Picasso, is even more

(approximately 300-100 BC) saw a flourishing

closely Dionysian as it explores reality beyond

of the Dionysian in art, the Athenian Tragedy

traditional structures.

characterized emotion,

and

as

exalting

the

collective

(most popular before the Hellenistic period), to Nietzsche, really presented itself as a

We can see then that the Apollonian and

hallmark of human accomplishment.

Dionysian, though dichotomously opposed, are interrelated. Without the Apollonian,

This dance-drama evoked a sense of the

creative work would lack any semblance of

sublime, combining Apollonian structure

coherency, whereas without the Dionysian,

with Dionysian passion. A chorus of singers

needed vitality and passion are nonexistent.

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I’ve chosen to submit a short and introductory


Open TF Collaboratives I know, you’re probably thinking WTF is that, exactly? TF is a term commonly used in the fashion photography industry as ‘Trade For’, as in Trade me your time for mine. As a photographer, I share the images... but I need other resources and creatives to collaborate with, such as make up artists, hair stylists, clothing, jewelry and set designers, etc.

These Open TF Collaboratives are just that...TF Collaborative events that are open to everyone.

Photog:Lydene Robertson Model: Jasmine Martinez Hair: La Bamba MUA: Felicia Sanderson Clothing Designer: Lindsay Soules

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Photog: Hal Harrison Model: Lindsay Soules Hair: La Bamba MUA: Harmony Ray Clothing Designer: Lindsay Soules

Photog: Fotoartworx by Jerry Simpson Model: Lindsay Soules Model: Travis Howe Hair: La Bamba MUA: Harmony Ray Clothing Designer: Lindsay Soules

Photog: May Faith Photography Model: Lauren Elizabeth Reed HAIR:Chelle Solars-Malehorn


Photog: Kevin Ayers Model: Tracy Gerhardt MUA: Jennifer Lavanaway Hair: Chelle Sollars-Malehorn

Photog: Mindy Mortensen Model : Autumn Rayne Jewelry: Items by Tina Marie MUA: Rebecca Anderson Hair: Camille Goldy Saari

Photog: Sarah Page Model: Alexis Hay MUA: Jennifer Lavanaway Hair: La Bamba

T

he artwork you see on these 4 pages are the collective output of dozens of photographers, models, stylists and designers at a recent Open TF Collaborative event that us attendees call the Hollywood shoot. Tami Jean and Mike Payne of Artistic Cliques Photography (www.artisticcliques.com) started putting on these amazing events about a year ago and have so far done about 6 of them. “I’m a fan of networking and this is just a great, fun way to get to know others in our industry.”

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Photog: Tami Jean Model: Travis Howe Hair: Chloe Alexandra Thompson


Photog: Melissa Toledo Model: Chloe Calypso Model: Travis Howe MUA: Rebecca Anderson

Photog: Thomas Meyer Model: Bre Chandler Photog: Debbie Mitchell Model: Jasmine Martinez MUA: Felicia Sanderson Hair: La Bamba Designer: Lindsay Soules

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Photog: Tami Jean Model: Airisa Durand MUA: Jennifer Lavanaway Hair: Felicia Devall-Franklin

E

veryone contributes their time and talent and everyone walks away with something they wouldn’t have been able to do alone otherwise. Another great aspect to the events is being able to achieve several different looks in a single day, mix and match models and designs, and even as a photographer myself I really enjoyed seeing what other photographers did with the same models and designs that I worked with. Very inspirational, and totally worth the drive to Portland. The next Open Event with be presented by The Hideout, an online community filled with professional and aspiring photographers alike joining together to share and learn. The theme for this event is “Year 2092, Post Apocalyptic/Mad Max/Steam Punk” . To find more information on this and other events, casting calls etc then check out Tami and Mike’s Group page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/306583389393339/

Photog: Blanka Rahman Model: Lindsay Soules Hair: La Bamba MUA: Harmony Ray


H

ere are some of the shot’s I got! These are just a few of my personal favorites. I really loved the diveristy in the models, the different styles of the stylists and designers, and in general just watching everyone work. It was my first event with this group and I was a little overwhelmed at first, but after about an hour of being all shy and nervous I finally dove in and just went all out.

Photog: Sarah Page Model: Airisa Durand MUA: Jennifer Lavanaway Hair: Felicia Devall-Franklin

Photog: Sarah Page Model: Keri Atkins MUA: Jennifer Lavanaway Hair: Felicia Devall-Franklin Jewelry Designer: Items by Tina Marie

I am very much looking to the future events and hope to see you all there, too!

Photog: Sarah Page Model: Leah Palmer-Rye MUA: Harmony Ray Jewelry Designer: Items by Tina Marie midnight muse | 43

Photog: Sarah Page Model: Rachel Harjeet Shelton MUA: Harmony Ray Hair: Chelle Sollars-Malehorn


PoetryvsSong-Writing Is there a difference?

Some people think there is a definite distinction; some say there isn’t, and some maybe see them as two separate mediums with different rules applicable to them. One can argue poetry and song used to be the same thing, before mass literacy. Since the general population became more literate and poetry took on non-metered forms (such as how painting took on a whole new shape when photography was invented), poetry and song seem to have diverted.

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seen as doubly artistic instead of less? A few of my introductory poetry classmates, when introducing their work, stated that it had no “hidden meanings” that they “like to read a poem and be done with it, then walk away.” While this sounds very anti-art, a waste of time, and downright lazy, the explanation could be perhaps that society is less traditionally literate and more mentally fast-paced than it used to be.

whereas everyone has the ability to use words in some form. I sense a large amount of ambivalence--when the context is right, such as asking what people like to do for entertainment, leisure, money-making, or catharsis, songs are valued more highly than poetry. When asked what is truly art, even those with a lower level of formal education with a lower sense of elitism suddenly adopt a preference for poetry as art over songs, even if they don’t like poetry very much.

I argue both teachers and students are being lazy to a point, and that we should use our brains more when it comes to experiencing and writing songs or poetry.

However, to me, poetry is still more like song-writing than most are taught to think of it. What I mean by this is in college poetry workshops, my fellow students who were more familiar with songs than poetry, especially mainstream music, tended to be very direct (as in literal) with meaning in their own poems as opposed to employing symbolism and other literary devices one becomes familiar with in creative writing and advanced English courses. A lot of older, metered poetry that was probably sung (going back to folk songs and traveling minstrels) had more of a level of directness, as well as deeper meanings we still dig up today. Poetry classes, in my experience, tend to not focus on songs as poetry (which, especially in the case of some rap genres and artists like Bob Dylan, is a shame). This occurs, I think, for a few reasons. People tend to boil songs down to certain topics they want to see as simple or easily applicable to themselves: love, hate, anger, breakups, depression, being misunderstood, belonging, overcoming adversity, having fun, and financial success. In other words, people don’t often want to see song-writing as “serious art” even though it is hugely popular, makes serious money comparable to any one piece’s value at the Louvre, and affects people greatly on a spiritual and emotional level. Even instrumental music, in my experience, is seen as more serious, for some reason. Why is the combination of words and music—two art forms—not

Mass education has lead to a lesser quality of education now accessible to a greater quantity of people. Indeed, how many street poets or introductory poetry students can name more than five literary devices or types of poetry? Yet all of these people can read. In my first class, we had to bring in a line from a poem we liked, and about 80% of the class brought in the same last few words of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” True, it may depend on the class, the term, the level of talent present, the level of education, the instructor, etc. But if my class represented most people, it seems we might be dumbing ourselves down, not just in how much poetry we experience, but how we experience it. I believe we let songs guide us with the quality of the music (if the music is bad, I often argue, just make it a poem and stop trying to be a composer) as opposed to the words. When poems rhyme, inexperienced readers often focus on the form and whether it works musically, not on its meaning. I myself am guilty of this when trying to choose fiction to read--style, craft and word choice is a very important aspect to me, not just subject matter or meaning. Is music more important to people than words? Musicians, when famous, make a lot more than even poet laureates generally do. Is it because we take words for granted, since we use them more in our daily lives, or is it because music is easier to sell on a grand scale due to technology? Or is it because not everyone has musical ability,

In addition, teachers have tried to fight against the lack of focus on words’ meaning by discouraging metered poetry and songwriting in their classes, deeming it “too hard for most people to do well.” To me, this is akin to stealing someone’s culture if they happen to be highly musical (I’m more than addicted to music; it’s like oxygen) and leaves out whole genres of poetry that are still striving to have a musical base, such as rap. It encourages us even further to not take songs seriously, especially if they are popular, even if we are willing to pay serious money for them. Shakespeare is popular. He is more popular perhaps than most writers still living today, and his popularity has lasted hundreds of years. Is he not intellectually worth anything because he’s still popular? His poetry and plays are metered; often the plays contain songs. If writing a great poem that also rhymes and is musically catchy is so hard to do, shouldn’t we appreciate it when it occurs? If something is hard to do, is it not worth trying? This attempt to make words more important to the general audience has a price, I argue. The price is the intellectual value of music and words together, and I don’t think we should pay that price when there are alternatives. This trend ignores the music present in seemingly non-musical forms of poetry. The result is an even more undereducated mass audience that doesn’t try and/or thinks it already knows everything. Case in point: look up at any mainstream song on Youtube, then read the comments.


When you interview the lyricist of a popular song, a fair amount of the time the song is about more than you think, or was disguised as something “simple” so people would find it appealing. It’s sort of like a costume. The audience, meanwhile, has the choice of whether or not to dive into the possible meanings beneath the surface, or other meanings that common images may be applicable to other than a cliché. Take Gnarles Barkley’s “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul,” for example. This song is often seen as being about break-ups, and indeed, the music video is--a young man carves out his heart in a diner after he’s dumped. The heart sprouts legs, gets up and sings the rest of the song. However, if you watch the whole video, the artists themselves are in the background watching events unfold in a comical fashion. The whole video seems a bit comical in its melodrama. I then read later, (in the words of a fan’s comment on Youtube, so I can’t be sure), that the song is really about the death of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, who had died recently. If you listen to the words more closely, you can apply them to that:

“Made me feel like somebody... like somebody else. Though he was imitated often, I felt like I was being myself. Is it a shame that someone else’s song was totally and completely depended on?” These are words any fan of a great legend could use to describe how they felt about them. I listened to this song so differently after entertaining this possible interpretation that I realized I could explore supposed “love songs” in a whole new way. I later combined that song into a medley of other “heartbreak” songs that I would play on piano and sing till I feel asleep on the keys in order to get through a string of heart-breaking events in my life: falling-out with friends, being preyed upon by users, not being able to trust the ones you love, growing distant with ones I was once so close to, being too far away geographically from people I am still close to, losing a job or opportunity I really wanted, losing a relative. After meeting with my 96-year-old grandmother for the first time in over ten years this spring, I was flooded with more bittersweet nostalgia and even some negativity I didn’t expect. I now think of this meeting when I hear Adele’s “Someone Like You.” I heard Paul McCartney interviewed on NPR once, and he said “Yesterday” was really about his mother’s death from cancer, not a break-up. A friend of mine recently died in a car crash in the midst of me covering a series of heartbreak songs, and for now I can only associate them with her death. The audience often assumes the writer is the speaker in the poem or song, and they assume they know the meaning of a song because the words tend to be more direct and literal-sounding. Poetry that is considered more literary by lay people, such as open-form, tends to not be metered and have more symbolism (or so it would seem, because the images are not as tangible, applicable, or salient to an easy interpretation). However, I don’t believe this form asks the audience to think more deeply. I think the audience, when they are novices, often give up if it seems too cryptic for them and the words or style aren’t attractive to them. Music has the advantage of having more sound to evoke emotion and interest, so even if the words are nonsense, the audience still may like it. Poetry can certainly still have an aspect of sound through rhyme, word choice, flow, assonance, consonance,

rhythm, etc, and I never want to lose that musicality. My goal, with my poetry, is to ask the audience to stop assuming and not give up digging. Not an easy task, but it’s worth asking. Sometimes I’m very direct in my tone and style--but I entreat you to discuss amongst yourselves and in your own mind what I’m referring to beyond the obvious first thought or first emotions you feel. Explore those thoughts and feelings Perhaps it’s so personal you’ll never know my original meaning. Who’s to say my meaning won’t change? That’s fine. I don’t need you to get it completely--come up with your own meaning! My poem about a conflict with a loved one may be about the barriers you face in your daily life personified, or vice versa. Though I try to be original, I might employ a familiar symbol at times. But I encourage you to relate it to something different than you see at first--don’t dismiss it as inapplicable to you or something you know, and don’t dismiss it as cliché. You may not like my work at first, or someone else’s, and then it grows on you for some reason. Without taking time to do explore our experience, we can miss and dismiss so much in art we never saw coming.

Meet Laura Witham our literary contributor! She’s totally smart and TOTALLY knows what she’s talking about. Totally! Just look at that face. Can’t you tell?

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How many pseudo-intellectual posts can you find denouncing the song for being “mindless drivel” or being “about nothing”? How many can you find praising it endlessly for some simplistic reason, such as the beauty of the singer’s voice (or just the singer themselves), or the genre of the music? Can you count these polarized, blanket judgments on your fingers? I can’t. The song itself, it seems, is not often taken as a complete piece of art from all angles even when the ratings are incredibly high as well as the number of times it’s listened to. I argue both teachers and students are being lazy to a point, and that we should use our brains more when it comes to experiencing and writing songs or poetry. What’s ironic about this is we are perfectly willing to put a lot of effort into some songs or poems if we like them, trying to make them fit our own lives or situations perfectly, applying our own meaning. There is no way we have exactly the same life as the speaker in a poem or song, but we imagine we do. So what happened? Where did that energy go? Did it poof?


11

may

fashion

the beautiful people This post is a long time coming but today I was finally compelled to write it =] As a photographer, a lot of my time is spent with families: re-unions, newborns, weddings, seniors, etc. All of these people are looking for an image to remind them of a special time in their life. And I love it when people approach me, trusting me with this task. As an artist, I try to conceptualize and re-create an idea or an emotion. You have probably seen a lot of my personal photography work, and a lot of it would probably be categorized as “fashion” photography. I get asked a lot why I work so much with models and why do I like painting on naked people so much. People tend to throw the word vain around an awful lot and make remarks such as, “You just don’t seem like you’d be into that sort of thing.” That sort of thing? What exactly is that sort of thing...and why are you making such vague assumptions about me? I am an artist, I thrive on

46 | inspire

beauty and I want to share the beauty that I see everyday. But now let me clarify: I am the Beholder. These are MY eyes. There is nothing wrong and nothing narcissistic about women wanting to feel

Narcissus by Michelangelo Caravaggio

how beautiful they are. Wanting to look and feel beautiful does NOT make

Narcissus was so in love with his own beauty, when

anyone vain. You’ll notice in most of my work that very few even have make

he was lured to look upon his reflection in a pool,

up on —don’t get me wrong, I like to go crazy with make up sometimes

he could not tear himself away from his “love” & eventually died there.

because it is fun to play around! But it’s never needed. I don’t do crazy re-touches—although I am a re-touch master and have a side retouching

business. Just because you CAN does not mean you always should. I use a variety of women, all shapes, sizes, colors, because they are all gorgeous. When I have a say in wardrobe, I always ask my girls to keep it simple. My art…my job as a photographer… is not to simply CLICK a button, and bring every image into Photoshop and completely smooth their faces, remove every wrinkle, freckle, birthmarks and features that makes them, them. Before I even click that button, there is usually this awkward moment between myself and my model (and if you’ve ever shot with me, you KNOW what I mean xD) There’s this difficult task of displaying, in a pose, how this person before me inspires me. Is it their laugh? Their eyes? Do they carry their arms as though they are floating on the clouds? The way their hair falls into their face. Basically, the things that you generally notice when you fall in love…those are the things I search for when I take these pictures. And those are the things I strive to capture. No, I am not saying that I fall in love with all my models! I am not that creepy! But I am open enough to not be afraid to search for those subtle things, things that ones professionalism may prevent them from seeing. There is a sense of intimacy in all my personal projects. I do not simply select models that “look good” because that is not what makes a beautiful image. Most professional models that I have worked with actually, are rude and think they are the hottest thing to have ever walked the face of this earth. THAT is vanity, my friends. And it is a hideous creature that I do not wish to work with ever again. It’s the beautiful people…with beautiful quirks and beautiful souls. They make my images shine.

You can find more of Sarah’s Blog at www.sarahpagephotography.com


Submission Period: 08/01/2012 – 08/30/2012

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g hin t y r eve

Issue 4 Launch Date: 10/15/2012 www.midnightmusemag.com/submissions


Cover Artwork by Featured Artist Chris Wilhelm


Midnight Muse—Issue 3