Imagination Is The New Work

(or, How To Burn Out On Art)

Billimarie Lubiano Robinson
8 min readNov 18, 2014


Black and white photo of Billimarie, a Typewriter Poet, smiling and giving away a FREE POEM to a stranger in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.
Photo by Tom Reifsnyder (2014, Philly)

It’s not that artists shouldn’t be paid for their labor, but we ought to refuse the assignation of value and worth purely based on salability or the validation of institutions. Systems will always seek to swallow us. We must resist the efficiency of its gears with the softness of our humanity. Unprofessionalism is asserting our right to be human against this machine.

(from “How To Be an Unprofessional Artist” by Andrew Berardini)

What kind of year can leave you hallow?

(The kind without your own bed.)

This was the year music
was revealed to me. I don’t

know if it’s possible
to live off Free Poetry.

You accept what this path leads to, what it consists of. You have forgotten what ennui feels like.

But there is also your mother asking in a reverent whisper if you are homeless. With little to no steady employment nor living space, there’s room for obsession in your veins: Reality, Reality, Life, Art, Capitalism, Reality, Life. There’s room to fall in love with people places times and moments. Over and over again, every day—this is not exaggeration.

Your bones shiver smiles.

It comes easy, connecting with strangers. It is hard retaining friends.

You receive the good will you give away.

There is sleeping in train stations and people maliciously kicking you awake.

There is restructuring narrative. There is sleeping in train stations and stumbling upon this year’s newest technology in Experimental Alarm Clocks.

“Love what you do and you will never work a day in your entire life.”

Capitalist scum drivel aimed at convincing you work is one-dimensional suffering you can somehow escape from.



Billimarie Lubiano Robinson

writing, music, trees, & a skoolie in the desert.