Our job is pretty simple. On those days when it doesn't seem that the world, including yourself (with your empty voicemail and tired little draft beer), has a soul, we show you differently. We deliver the details that make the motion gain meaning. We mat and frame the poster of your life. We woo and bring fire and add flavor to cooked meats and make astronomy a mystic art. We make lovers out of people driven by loneliness and biological need. We make art out of commerce. We expose the caterpillar in the butterfly and the reverse, depending on your need. We make motorcycles romantic. We turn furniture into decoration. We tug at your heart and bring you to tears, not out of sado-masocistic desire, but because you need it. You need to be sad. You need to fall in love. You need to know that you are not alone. Our work is a fiction. There is beauty because we said so. We made up everything. And, to quote Genesis, "it was good."
We don't do it for money. For money, we practice law. For money, we sell insurance and go to war. For money, we will eventually marry. The more unimaginative apply for fellowships and grants. None of us, I repeat, are poets for money.
We take our payment in flesh. Our currency is trust and need and intimacy. Our invoices are printed on your naked body the minute you look at yourself in the mirror. Your tears and saliva are the ink. Our natural resources involve the moderate exploitation of your most painful goodbyes, your most welcome hellos (Hello Lisa's baby!), your oldest memories. Creation is a divine force and like most gods, we function on belief. Unwavering faith is the compact that makes this work. Even Jehovah needed the Israelites to need him. Even Jesus needed the need of others. Think of the pointlessness of loaves and fishes with no one to eat them.
So save your money and your gifts. Creep through our window some morning instead. Hop in the car and trust us to take you somewhere you've never been. That's the only way this works.