Imagine if writers and painters,
Musicians, composers of all kinds,
Were studied as singlemindedly
As suicide attempts, suicides,
And suicidal ideation—
That is, with the intent to prevent.
How can we keep them from committing
Pencil to paper, oil to canvas,
Or break up those patterns in their heads?
Not to say suicide does no harm—
Not to say creativity does
None, either. But could you consider
How understanding some behaviors
Seems to mean something rather different
Than understanding others? If art
Could be prevented, somewhat reduced,
Or at least nipped in the bud most times,
Could you then claim you’d understood it?
And if suicide could be explained
And encouraged from an early age,
Exemplary cases canonized,
Would you think you’d at last grasped the gift?
Understanding behavior might be
A behavior best misunderstood.