Algo Poetry-Behind the Lines

A Life in Bad Photography

The 7th day of poems from BE.aGaIN takes us from yesterday’s postcard post into the world of photography.The inspiration behind this poem was the fact that in the pre-digital and even pre mass market Kodak age, depending on one’s resources, there may only be one physical photograph(probably paid for at great expense) as what you leave behind at the end of your life-“A living record of the living and the dead”. A Two dimensional way of looking at a person’s entire existence.

I also tried to imagine, let’s say, an early 20th Century photographic portrait -what is the subject trying to tell future generations with only their eyes, with only their expressions? ” The smallest pinhole”.Will the time traveller even notice your photo and your life? “Your life flashed past by thumbs unclean”.

This poem is also haunted by the spectre of physical abuse, and in particular domestic abuse.How can a woman (or man) in a very different age with different “values” to today, hide or even document their pain and what was inflicted on them through no fault of their own every single day? An how do they walk away from that situation and get the help and care they need?.

This is where the lines “Black and Blue”, “In every frame your eyes are red” and a “thousand negatives shot in a positive light” come from.It is the literal brave face of someone in a historic photograph with only their eyes and expression to tell their story with the poet wishing that the character had walked right out of that photograph and that situation for a “brand new roll” (role).



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