THE GREAT AMERICAN ART FORM

Now more than ever, commercial art is the heart of art in this land of opportunity and opportunists.   

                         ADMERICA

Advertising is the great American art form.
From the magazine to the computer screen,
from the venerable billboard to the broadside of a bus,
in a land littered with ephemera from sea to sullied sea
there are images that linger,
promotional impressions that endure.

Here are the images that have built loyalty and established respect,
images that have buttressed institutions and sustained traditions,
images that have conquered foes and elected presidents.

Ours is a proud commercial culture
with advertising placed at the pinnacle
through the efforts of some of the most inventive Americans,
whose expressive, if empty, hands
have fashioned a nation
by concocting a confederation
of images.
(Mike Cohen – Jan 2008)

NOW

          NOW

Things seem to keep happening
faster and faster.
That’s the nature of now.
The present zips by
at the speed of time, in a blur
that does not resolve itself until it’s too late
to do anything but watch it recede
into the layered still-lives of memory.
Nothing is as swift as the present.
The future keeps you waiting.
The past keeps you wondering.
The present doesn’t keep at all.
It has no shelf-life, no duration, nothing but its own immediate mortality.
It is and was in one unlasting sentence.
So there you are and were.

(Mike Cohen – Apr 2016)

WORKING THINGS – WINDMILLS AND MONSTERS AND YOU AND ME

 

                       WORKING THINGS                  

When you get it working you are happy to make
something function, to take
the inanimate and have it dancing in your hand.

Life loves to bring things to life,
to have them join the ranks of those that go
stirring, lurching, churning, whirring, working. 

But all things working –
the gadgets, the gizmos, the contrivances,
the galaxy, the tide, your heart –
all working things
do eventually
stop.

                   (Mike Cohen – Dec  2005)

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