A Self Portrait

We are always told that to objectify someone would diminish them; that by labelling them as an item, be it material or not, we would be stripping them of their identity.

But can’t it be seen as the other way around? Would it be entirely impossible that an object should lead us to understand ourselves better than we did before?

By taking a step back from ourselves and observing with an abstract point of view, we can learn things that we never knew, having spent our lives with the obvious cloaking our vision. It’s like doing a self portrait. When we pick up that pencil and put it to paper to mimic the lines of our faces, the tilt of our gaze, we notice intricacies of our face that we had never picked up on before. (Because, well, who looks in the mirror and sees themselves as a sketch?) Suddenly you notice that your wrinkles are deeper, your left eye slightly droopy, your nose just that little bit off center. But when you’ve finished the drawing, it is still beautiful. The imperfections are what makes it so brutally honest and so very…you.

So I tried to do this with words. I tried to objectify myself through an everyday item and project an essence of myself into it. Despite not being the best poet in the world, the words came smoothly when I managed to truly detach myself from them. I realised there was a whole other ‘me’ with a voice inside that I had muffled for years.

I hadn’t even known it was there.

* * *

Pure stark snow is my stage:

host to black ink scars and grooves that map out worlds

much brighter and more fantastical than bland existence here.

The hand that guides me

 – that prints me out in robotic stammers  –

is but a tool of the trade.

          Beware of the blatant twists and lurid magics,

          for the truth is in the bitter-sweet taste on your tongue

          that lingers after a tantalising kiss.


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