What are tricks? And what is art?
And what sets the two apart?
One meaningful one meaningless?
Does a work of art itself confess
it’s worthy, valuable and deep?
Am I no member of the arts,
’cause in my hands I hold a cheap
and ordinary deck of cards?
Art is real? Is that the deal?
Tricks are just a little cutie?
What if I were to say: I feel
only beauty is my duty?
What else would be the point of it?
What’s art without the joy of it?
I mean, does all that screaming
for significance and meaning
not mean to be destroying it?
Just as Beckett versus Shakespeare
or Tschaikowsky’s Swan Lake makes clear:
it’s not meaning that it takes here.
Who the hell knows what the purpose is
of the Magic Flute by Mozart?
My guess is: it is purposeless!
So, why would magic then be no art?
And what about just fanning cards?
There’s no reason for the ace of hearts
to twist and turn and twirl and spin
but I think: beauty lies within!
When first and middle, ring and small,
when thumb and fingers, when they all
begin to dance in elegance,
when suddenly there is a chance
for what is dead to come to life,
when lifeless matter starts to thrive,
when fingerflicking in a flick
becomes invisible - then that’s the trick!
Then all the shuffling will be shifting
swiftly to become uplifting.
A storyteller’s tale that tells
of just itself and nothing else.
That only wants to show you: “See,
what’s impossible and still can be.”
Just usable and suitable
to be and to be beautiful.
That has no purpose and no goal
–like every other living soul–
then just to be and to exist
and if not to be, then to be missed.
That has no moral code or ethic,
but is ecstatically aesthetic.
That is not really realistic
but artificially artistic.
No criticism of depravity,
just critical by gravity.
When fingers practice endless hours,
exploring all those hidden powers,
succeeding then against all chances
in transcending moves to dances,
when cards and fingers –both in action
in this unusual unique connection–
work together not alone
both for the sake just of their own,
then maybe like baby and mother
the two can get lost in each other.
I know this might sound cheesy
but when it finally looks easy,
relaxed and free, imbued with lightness
at ease and simple, filled with brightness,
when all the skillful cleverness
looks casual and effortless,
though at the start it seemed too hard,
then the impossible transforms to art.
As if it weren’t worth the trouble,
as if the work had not been double,
as if we all might just agree:
it’s like a piece of poetry.