M. LUNA ROSSEL, ARTIST
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-"You don't have a single didactic bone in your body"- said the scientist, quite flatly.

I must clarify that my body and its bones are not part of his domain of research ;) ...But then, in the context of my participation in a public discussion panel for the exhibition "Weather on Steroids", where we had collaborated, the casual comment unleashed a small but sustained panic attack.

 

The answer came weeks later in the middle of the night when (before it faded away!) I had to get up to write a poem that dropped unexpectedly, over my tired, seldomly didactic bones.

It reflects on the the possible roles of the artist, different from those of the scientist and teacher; of the ways of reaching out, touching, even slightly, another human being.

 

I don't come to teach you.

I don't want to educate you.

I don't have any knowledge to offer.

Not a glimmer of wisdom

nor the faint shadow of a notable theory.

I don't come to tell you what you should know.

I don't come to tell you what you should fear.

I come

to grab your heart

with bare hands.

I come

to rip it off your chest

red, trembling and humid...

A pause, a few beats.

Only for you to stop for a moment

and feel the salt of this vast ocean

meandering through your veins.

Just so, submerged

in a murmur of breeze among branches

you notice the crackle of the sun in your belly.

 

I didn't come to teach you

I came to touch you.

I came to graze your forehead

with invisible fingers

awakening auroras discarded for centuries

causing red poppies to sprout

among your dying dreams.

I came to make you shiver

like a leaf in the wind

the skies breathing between your temples

a handful of anonymous constellations

peeping through your eyes.

I came to tear away your fear

by biting if need be.

I came to touch your soul...

 

Because I have a little box in my nightstand

where I keep a piece of shadow

from that majestic tree they recently felled

and sometimes I find under my pillow

trills of the birds it used to shelter.

- For them I came.

 

I came to wind a ball

with the thread of your yearnings

to embroider tomorrows

on annihilated forests.

I came to hang from your neck

like a string of fireflies,

to show you cheerfully

how to bury your feet

into this blessed mud

fragrant with the very last rain

until you grow roots...

I came to kiss you softly

on the eyelids

waking the flock of faded colors

that nest in your solitude.

I came to exorcise your demons

or to invoke your angels

or to unleash the muses

hiding under your bed.

 

I also came to watch silence

as it blooms

in the palm of your hands

and to count the waves

that have crashed on your back.

But then, above all

I came to check for myself

the fragile cry of dawn

when breaking on the horizon.

I came to give you a sip of my blood

which is water, which is sap, which is lava.

I came to plant a little pile of seeds

into the soft soil of your heart

while it beats bloody in my arms.

- I came for you.

 

To touch you with light fingers

with the same secret reverence

with which I take a ray of sunshine

with which I take

what I put in my mouth...

I came to give you this instant

impalpable, mute, deaf,

when I return your heart

and life bursts within your chest.

I came to touch you.