How Far is too Far?

I wrote a poem titled Appreciation of Life. It’s about a serial killer cutting up a body and then throwing it in the ocean(such a romantic I am). This poem can be found in Darkness: Poems of Extreme Horror. I promise I do have a point and I’m not just pimping my book.
A few months before I published Darkness, I showed a friend some of the poems I planned to include. Appreciation of Life was the first one I showed her. She told me that I should not include this poem. That I had pushed things too far and it would probably upset people. She went on to say she hoped they will interview her for the serial killer documentary they make about me (We don’t talk much anymore).
So as a artist when have you gone too far? Is it possible to over push the boundaries? I myself think no subject is too sensitive or dangerous to cover. However, I do understand why some people stay away from controversial subjects. Whether its for a personal reason, or they just don’t want to piss people off. Lets face the facts that in today’s world the sensitivity level is high. People get offended by the simplest things.
Your target audience should be the deciding factor on what topics you tackle in your art form. For example, if you’re a filmmaker who makes christian movies. You probably don’t want to produce a movie about necrophilia butt sex (I mean that’s common sense).
I emailed one of my favorite authors named Edward Lee. In the email I of course gushed over how big a fan I was and how I loved his books. One of the questions I asked him was if he felt you could ever go too far with a subject matter. I am going to quote his exact answer.

“As for poetry pushing the boundaries, I think it’s dishonest to the reader to censor things, and as long as your work isn’t racist, terroristic, or involve children, I really don’t think there ARE any boundaries.”

What do you guys think? Is it possible to go to far? How far would you go? Are there subject matters you dare wouldn’t touch?


2 thoughts on “How Far is too Far?

  1. bambiquim says:

    If your work is honest and any good, it’s probably going to offend somebody. But that’s okay. Sometimes, people need to read things that offend them in order to grow as a person.

    However, are you really interested in whether or not you offend people or whether or not YOU should be offended that readers will associate you with your characters? Writing about a serial killer is not the same thing as killing people, and writing about a subject matter doesn’t mean you feel the urge to perform certain actions or be a certain person. Just as a person can be friends with people vastly different from themselves, so too can they write about people vastly unlike themselves.

    The only person, I suppose, who can know whether or not readers should be offended (because, again, readers will be offended, and it’s their right to be offended just as it is your right to say whatever the hell you please), is you. Because you are the only person who knows what your intentions behind writing that potentially offensive piece was. Also, I think you’re very attractive, so if you ever feel the urge to murder people, you should probably choose another victim. #justsaying

    Liked by 1 person

    1. horrorpoet30 says:

      Hello Bambiquinn,
      Thanks for your comment. You make some very good valid points. Yes anyone can find anything offensive. It should never control or dictate your writing.

      I have no urges to murder people (maybe politicians). Thanks for the compliment by the way if that was how you meant it.


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