The Question is Not

J. Osako, 9 Feb 2002
The question is not
"Am I a fraud?"
I've always known 
the real answer 
to that one.
The question is, 
do I really believe it
or is it just a joke to me,
yet one more ironic pose
that I wear to hide
my complacent egotism?

The question is not,
"Am I an artist?"
Even Nietzsche knew 
that between our ears 
is more artful expression
than we ever imagined imagining.
The question is, 
do I have something to say,
something to give,
something that will make 
the lives of others better,
or am I just wasting my breath?
And why should you listen
to my second hand art,
instead of making some 
of your own?

The question is not,
"Am I new?"
We've all know what the pious
say about that.
The question is,
if under dear old Sol's gaze
originality is impossible,
and uniqueness is 
every man's birthright,
why do I make such a big deal
out of the wheel which
I copied from Kerouac,
who copied from cummings,
who copied from Whitman,
and so on unto 
the utmost generation?

Or are none of these things 
the real question
which I cannot find
let alone try to answer.
Am I so afraid to be alone
that I'd sooner embrace this 
candle light vigil for
art long dead,
in memoriam 
for faux rebeliousness 
also known as Youth Market,
Do I so easily jump 
through these well-worn hoops
pretending to be new or
living in fear that 
I will be unmasked
as a human being,
a mere mortal 
in disguise?