The Flaws Are The Art
You admire the tools in the museum workshop,
small bits and chisels, cast iron and early American steel.
A small spot by the window. Enough light
to see the work, small tools for your fat hands.
You were never good at the fine work, the details.
Your fingers too thick, just this side of coordinated,
prone to mistakes at the worst of times, you have learned
a new art. An art of mistakes, not unlike your life.
I am sure there are craftsmen out there,
their hands steady. Their eyes sharp.
But I am not one. I am the other, creating a sense of things
in the mess that surrounds me, a child with paints,
able to use the tools.
Just not perfectly,
finally aware in my age, that at times,
the flaws are the art.
About this poem.
Perfection is highly overrated. It is a lesson I always kind of knew, but as we move into the age of AI-generated art and “photography” I have come to realize it more. It is the mix of imperfection and perfection that makes real art, whatever the art, wonderful. Perfection is dry and airbrushed and lacks soul.
I am in good shape then. So far from perfect.
The photograph was taken at the Farmner’s Museum in Cooperstown, NY. A 19th century farm community recreated from existing buildings. Prints of the photograph are available for sale.