Thursday 21 October 2010


Memory unspools from us.
We’re a troupe of clowns
distracted by the buzzing
of an invisible wasp,

clapping our hands
in the vague direction of the noise
unaware of the cassette player
squatting like an elephant in the corner.

Our bones must be electric:
even as we sit here
perfectly still, our shadows
convulse on the walls behind us.

We’ve discovered the secret:
we’re not really animals
but facsimiles of animals.
We are broken machines,

have always been broken machines,
though we played at being real
for so long we were beginning
to believe it ourselves. Please,

you who loved us, don’t feel cheated.
Console yourselves with the thought
that if there is a last laugh here,
we’re not the ones having it.

In this piece of writing Michael, a creative writing student for whom this was his first experience of watching live dance, developed further a text he had started earlier in the workshop. Again this is primarily a response to - although also equally a departure from - 'Hush'. There are moments that are clearly recognisable to somebody else who saw the performance, the distracting buzzing of an invisible wasp, the grotesque crowds at once both comic and horrifying and of course the general tone and atmosphere. All this, however, is transposed through the prism of language and Michael's own poetic imagination. Some of the results include a noticable darker the emotional palette and a stress upon distopian imagery of people as machines or animals.

1 comment:

  1. What a brilliant poem that deserves to be shared on my social media platforms so that everyone can see it! I really liked all of the references and I wish I could write such poetry like you!