Thursday, 9 September 2010

Affectation by Martin Collins


You can find me amidst the plaguescapes.
Beneath the bilious clouds
trapped by foetid air.
Drowning in eruptions
Wens, blisters, tumours, phagadaenas

I know their banal gossip,
Questioning my choice to remain.
The thought makes me expel smoke from my maw
like a daemonic engine releasing rage.

The burning inside tells me this is home,
I do not need to hide who I am.
There’s one thing that won’t infect me here,
their affectation.

This was written in the lunch break of a Poetry Business writing day just before I took it into the afternoon workshop (it would appear one works best under pressure..). The inspiration was that all the poems I had written in the morning session were based on reality or personal experience and nothing imaginary. So my personal challenge was to write something fantastic for which I invented a person and/or creature living a self-imposed exodus in some inhospitable terrain, which I dubbed the plaguescapes (I think that name is probably a product of The Locust album title Plague Soundscapes. Note me using the lower case suggesting it is something that can occur in multiple places, not a singular event...I'll stop babbling now).

The title is my joke upon the voice of the poem as although he claims he will never suffer from affectation like those he detests, by his very nature he is affected to do what he does. However the fact the voice is not fleshed out or given identity a few of the people at the workshop stumbled on this and couldn't engage with the poem without knowing who was speaking.

As a result, I'm not entirely sure if its finished in this format, by which I don't know if I am going to change the poem so that is feels stronger and more effective as a stand alone poem to deal with issues of 'Who is the voice?' or make it part of a series... more importantly whether one has the time...

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