The Conflicted Life of Cocky Humble vi

Setting: Humble Studios
Personae: Cocky Humble, a sculptor; Barnes, art agent

CH: What do you mean there’s just no demand for that kind of stuff, huh? And since when did you start referring to my work as stuff? But never mind that, I know my product is good so that doesn’t bother me. I want to understand this problem of demand. And no buts, Barnes! Give it to me straight, I’m all ears.

B: Well, it’s simple you see: a demand, rightly understood, is not what the person wants but what they request and frankly this is not it. It’s great but it’s just too complex a work. Remember they are the one percent, and when these rich persons make a purchase, they could care less about it in the aesthetic sense so long as it’s fit for the market and it’s an object that can earn them back interest on what they invest or at least hold the value. You think Giacometti’s Pointing Man would have fetched what it did if that wasn’t the case?

CH: Still doesn’t make him the best.

B: Nonetheless… he has the credit, right?

CH: So be it, I get it. I’ll start work on something else then. But I just have this to say… in fact they are John Ruskin’s words from Unto This Last in which he writes ‘… the incommunicable emotion and imagination which are the first and mightiest sources if all value in art.’

B: Huh?

CH: All I’m saying is that I’ll do it because you’re cutting the cheque and also ’cause it’s what they request. Satisfy the demand as you say. But I hope the kind of value they prescribe or the market dictates, as you’d rather put it, is preservable. Because I know for sure that the sums I’ll be paid, no matter how great, will be squandered with as little effort as I’ll put into getting the damned sculptures made.

© Heath Muchena, 2015


intelligence works on matter in order to prove its function
order implying both command and system

© Heath Muchena, 2015

Game of Throngs V

nothing heightens the emotions
by sympathetic induction
as when a speech by a rabble-rouser is delivered to a crowd

for it seems to catapult sown sentiments
to levels unimaginable had the same words been addressed to an audience of only a few

you also find that it’s because when the individual members of the crowd
discover that not only are their expressions tolerated but accepted
they become energised by the common admission
but moreover, by the liberation from the shackles of inhibition
and the ever-lurking struggle to fit in

© Heath Muchena, 2015


a corporation in my understanding
is an undertaking of a commercial kind
by many acting as one

© Heath Muchena, 2015

Spotted Sun ii: A Serra Pelada Story

every nugget of gold
will have its impurities

and because nature is raw
you too shall have your idiosyncrasies

now consider that even the sun has spots
but always remember that they are only made visible by the light
that the sun itself shines out and away

and learn that existence is sort of quid pro quo
so life is such that at times you have to wear the chargrined smile

© Heath Muchena, 2015

A Settler’s Dilemma

powerful nations can either have colonies or dependencies or both as their possessions; and what is observable is that in colonies – reproduction and propagation of the suzerain power’s racial kind is most probable and even secure, yet in the dependencies – it becomes clear that the acquisitive nation’s generative powers are limited and aren’t indicative of the form of potency that could establish the race in actuality and neither can its force create the permanent cultural leanings conducive for progressive settlement

© Heath Muchena, 2015


the surest way to set a boy on the path to manhood
is by making him feel that he is useful

© Heath Muchena, 2015

To See Space Is To Give It

they thought them nugatory observations
and so censured my ideas because they deemed them out of this world
as if I’d been living out in space for too long like Gennady Padalka
just returning from a station with severe space sickness…

and they didn’t see it necessary
to dig deeper and conduct their own investigations
instead, they wouldn’t let me get to the coda
convinced of my, but revealing their own, weaknesses

© Heath Muchena, 2015


in the case that you should dissent from the views popularly upheld by society then do so, but subtly, in order to not evoke the injurious negative sentiment commonly associated with being characterised as nothing more than a dissident

© Heath Muchena, 2015

This Working Thing vi

the privations of life in the workplace
are dictated to a greater extent by the practice of other employers in the space, that is to say,
by the prevalent rate of recompense

as a result, the employer is then safe to say that if the worker should find a better place and wage then he is free to take that on… and he will even claim that the real market value of his labour is best determined this way, and therefore continue to demand as much as he feels he gives

© Heath Muchena, 2015