We have a poetry class today for creative writing.  To be honest, I’m one of those who think “What’s the point in poetry?”

Sorry if that offends.  It’s just the way I am.  But I’m keen to learn, so hey ho.

I searched through some of my old exercise books, because I actually used to write a lot of poetry; usually when I was drunk. I can’t believe what an angry youth I must have been. Angry inside, that is.

Then I came across this piece.  It was written when I was in my 2nd year at University of Sussex. Yeah, that long ago.  I hadn’t realised how old it was!  I later converted it into a song, and The CiderJunkies did it proud. And now it’s back as a poem.

I have an explanation following …

Inspector (man)
Here we are again.
How can I help you today, inspector?

Inspector (friend)
How many crimes
have you solved in your life, inspector?

Inspector (truth)
Find my face and then
I’ll have to give in to you, inspector.

If my life was yours, I wouldn’t want it.
You’re out all night, while your wife is asleep in bed.
Probably snoring out of her head.
Or dreaming to herself, inspector.

Inspector (dream)
This is not a crime
here inside shell 41, inspector.

And if my life was yours, I wouldn’t want it.
You’re out all night, while your wife is asleep in bed,
or probably snoring out of her head,
or dreaming to herself,
or something like that,
you know what I mean?
Do you know what I mean, inspector?

Inspector (fiend)
Hide your face, and then you’ll have no one to talk to

So, what’s the story? It came to me whilst I was having a shave one morning, standing there in front of the mirror. And I realised I was always standing in front of that mirror not necessarily looking at the man who was there; every flipping day, not seeing the real me.

I wondered what it would be like for someone going through a mid-life crisis, seeing the same face, but never seeing the real man, never realising his true character.

The different inspectors are representative of the different aspects of his character, the different personalities he has inside. The questions pick at scabs, opening wounds he doesn’t want to suffer from again. Finally he discovers that the more he asks, the less he wants to know, and eventually he’ll ask too many questions of himself which will just drive him into oblivion.

Knowing about it now, it’s a bit like depression. Once you’re down that spiral, it’s difficult to get off, so occasionally you just have to stop asking, stop picking. But then do you just become another faceless entity on this lonely old planet …?

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