5 Jan

It’s not that I’m photophobic. No hatred or fear.

Light can contribute helpful things to society – measuring long distances… ‘light years’, travelling at ‘the speed of…’

It’s just that… light, well, it can be a bit harsh at times.

It’s not that I always love being in darkness – but it does have certain benefits. Darkness affords lots of room for questions. And I’m proud of my questions – people say I ask really profound ones that tickle the intellect.

And darkness – for all its ‘limitations’ – is also more comfortable. Light demands too much exposure.

For example. I took a day trip to the land of light. This is what I found:

  • There’s this person who hurt me. And I am committed to getting justice. There I was told that I was bitter and unforgiving.
  • Also, I have a strong self-esteem – I’m intelligent and should be duly respected. There I was told I was arrogant.
  • Or… I have a small, private ‘habit’. Doesn’t hurt anyone else really. There, I was told I was a pervert.
  • I was there for a friend when she needed me. But where was she when I needed her? I loved her much, but she loved me little. In the light, I was told my love… was ‘mere possessiveness’.
  • Light tells me that I’m jealous and a complainer – but darkness reassures me that I simply want what should be mine anyway.

The land of light! So much for kind rainbows and cheery sunrises. I got back on the tour bus and headed back to dark city – it’s not great here, but more tolerable than over there.

Let me begin again. Last week, I had a night vision. At the doorway to the world of sleep I saw light become mortal. The waves, particles – or whatever it is that light is – took on flesh and could eat, run, perspire and defecate.

And he was a real radical – a man who spoke hard truths, set people free, cared for the poor and challenged the system. A lot of rich guys and CEOs were intimidated by him.

So…I thought that maybe he’d like one of my political poems or be impressed by my book. Most people recognise me as a perceptive guy.

I thought that I could contribute some of my insights or some of my observations on society – we could work together in common cause. Surely light would appreciate my gifts.

So I approached him. He told me that I was totally blind.  Me! Blind?!

He said that I needed to become like a little child again – childhood where we ask questions to find answers and not to sound impressive. And that if I were to just leave everything and follow him, He would take me to this land where questions fade away and there are showers of forgiveness.

Well who do you think you are?!

Here in the dark, my questions don’t need an answer!

Here in the dark – who in the hell even wants your forgiveness?

I can see just fine on my own.

[exit stage with walking cane]

-Joshua D. Jones


2 Responses to “Photopobia”

  1. MouthyPoets January 7, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    Hi Joshua,

    Another interesting character piece from you in a totally new format which is really cool to see. Interesting starting point with lots to love but also quiet a few questions –

    -‘A lot of rich guys and CEOs were intimidated by him.’ – Really nice tonal shift to create humour.
    -‘So…I thought that maybe he’d like one of my political poems or be impressed by my book. Most people recognise me as a perceptive guy.’ really like the way a line like this really develops the character.
    -Really like the second half the way it shifts and is clear on like becoming a person and interacting with this lover of the dark. I wonder if the second half is really more the whole poem – do you need the first half or was that just your warm up? Or maybe we could start from ‘The land of light’ as I do really enjoy the description here.

    -I am really unsure as to what is happening in the first half up to the end of the bullet points?
    -I am not sure why the main character walks away from light, I feel like I need a bit more dialogue between him and light to understand his agenda and why he is walking off as it feels a bit sudden.
    -What does this poem mean to you and what do you want it to mean to your audience?


  2. MouthyPoets January 7, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

    Hey Joshua!

    I think you’ve got an interesting piece here, looking forward to seeing how it’s staged.

    I think some of the small details, like
    The waves, particles – or whatever it is that light is – took on flesh and could eat, run, perspire and defecate.

    work really well – I think more of these could really bring an audience into the poem.

    I think, in general, maybe the poem leans a little close to abstract – I like that you’re creating an air of mystery, but some more detail, and some good imagery could really hook your reader/audience in I think.

    Perhaps if it switched perspective, so left the ‘I’ and went into an object, or light, but really described what that saw? Maybe it could see the person, and could be a good insight into his character, not just from how he sees himself?

    The other thing to say would be I think it would be really interesting if you printed a copy, took a pen and blacked out all the lines/parts that aren’t moving a narrative forward, revealing something about his character, or rooted in concrete imagery, and see what you’re left with, just as an exercise – might really strengthen the poem.

    Look forward to seeing this piece!


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