The importance of unwritten rules.
Now more than ever, commercial art is the heart of art in this land of opportunity and opportunists.
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
(Mike Cohen – Jan 2008)
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)
Ancestry by the numbers.
HERE COMES THE MOMENT
the sky leans so close
you can hear the high clouds whisper
a secret you knew all along.
It isn’t the message that strikes you
but the clarity of it. Suddenly
the mud and the dust and the mist
are dismissed and the sky leans so close
you can hear the high clouds whisper,
“Here you are.”
(Mike Cohen – Oct 2015)
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
(Mike Cohen – Dec 2005)
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