Ever since I was eight years old I wanted to grow up to be a cigarette
Because it was the only thing my father could never abandon.
–The Heart of a Comet, Pages Matam
I would love to post a picture of him, but they are all copywrite and I don’t want to steal anyone’s photography, so go google him!
In the spring, I was fortunate enough to attend a performance that would open my eyes to a different world, and a different creative soul than any I’ve ever known. The show was called The Sweet Spot, a burlesque show of appropriately risqué content, and the creative soul was Pages Matam. At the time I didn’t know his name, all I knew was his words, and they struck me someplace deep; a place most artists seldom reach. The show was entertaining, inspiring, and left me feeling a high for days. Of course, I am a huge fan of anything even remotely perverse, so the sexual content of the show was already enough to get me hooked. There were dancers, a comedian, and live readings. But when this man took the stage, the crowd worshipped his performance. He worked the microphone like a sensual prophet, lighting up the audience in a way the other performers could not. I went home after the show with his words running through my mind, endlessly. His poetry was eloquent and so powerfully raw.
Although it was not at first apparent through a quick google search, I soon discovered his Instagram through The Sweet Spots‘s page. The poets name was Pages Matam, and I immediately became a fan. Shortly after doing some research, I decided to order his poetry book, The Heart of a Comet. The thoughts expressed in the book did not disappoint. Written as a homage to his stepson, The Heart of a Comet was a collection of words from his heart, spoken with emotion about his own childhood and difficulties growing up. He writes about family, romance, and the sort of father he would be.
When an artist can make you feel what they feel, without ever having experienced what they have experienced, that is the sign of true art. So many of his lines were so powerful, like being slapped across the face, that I would stop mid-poem and reread them until they were fully marinated in my mind. I was struck with the notion that this is what separates the artistic greats from the amateurs; they have the ability to fearlessly say exactly what they want to say in a precise fashion. I often pick up poetry books that try to twist the words into meaningless gibberish to try and sound edgy, or plump their poetry up with purple prose that sound exactly like the last three poets you read.
But Pages’ poetry is different.
He has things to say. And he says them fearlessly.
It is artists like Pages that reignite the hearts of dead poets, of dormant painters, of the uninspired. I think that art is something like a spark that must be passed among the creative souls of this world. If it goes out, art will die, but as long as artists like Pages continue to speak from the heart and use their own unique voice, that creative spark will never go out. How refreshing it feels to be inspired once again by an artist.