No Genre Needed


I don’t like genres. Everybody thinks they must have a certain style, or fit into a certain category. Regardless of the art form. How else will people be able to find me and appreciate my work? This is the feeling. That is what they are led to believe. Belief is a funny thing. Anyone can believe in anything, but that doesn’t make it so.

Art is subjective, and subjective is defined one way. It exists in the mind of the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought. Much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The opposite is objective. Like Joe Friday in the old television show Dragnet, “just the facts ma’am.” Facts and figures, the bottom line. The objective world is cold and gray. A void where emotion and personal experience don’t exist. The dark abyss of creativity.

An expression of emotion has no use for labels. Regardless of what that emotion might be. Genres, subgenres, labels, classifications, are nothing more than the ties that bind. They are the shackles that hold us captive. The cells we must stay in and can’t escape from without fear of scorn.

Bob Dylan plugged in. I’m sure he knew what would follow. He’d be a fool not to. He took the stage at Newport and dove in head first. The boos would drive anyone else from the stage in tears. Not Bob. He wanted to do his own thing in his own time, with his own reason in his own rhyme. Sometimes you have to break out from where you are to get where you’re going. As many times as you need to or want to.

It’s hard to not want to fit in somewhere. It’s hard to not want to find acceptance in a certain circle. Maybe it’s easier for me than for you. I’ve never fit in anywhere, and I’m too old to care if I’m accepted into a circle or not. I’m not in high school anymore.

I want to write. I want to create. I shouldn’t choose between writing poetry, or fiction, or non-fiction. Or to even write them on the same subject. I have many interests. If I tried to decide which one I would write about for the rest of my life I would never write anything. I wouldn’t be able to decide. I shouldn’t, and neither should you. We should all be able to create with whatever whim or inspiration guides us.

Don’t pick a genre. Don’t pin a label on yourself. Most important of all, don’t let anyone else do it to you. It’s easier to fly free than escape even if you don’t know which direction you’re going. Just go. You’ll be fine if you don’t have Cowboy Neal along for the ride. Plug in to what you like, what you want to do. For your own reasons, in your own rhyme.

            Copyright © Drew Martin 2015


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