Self-reflection

Roy Duffield

What is the significance of this work to you?

Obviously it's a very personal poem, but I think the many issues that make an appearance are fairly universal. It's called "Self-reflection" – obviously – but, more than anything, it's about self-acceptance: learning to come to terms with who we are, all of it – the multiple facets of our "identities" that don't always "match up" and maybe don't always have to.

What is the significance of the form you chose for this work?

In this poem, at least half of the meaning comes from the form. The layout was created by Elisabetta Taboga from a self-portrait from my youth. Even back then I was already obsessed with the themes of identity, duality, opposites, symmetry, how we think things should look vs. how they actually do, and which one is the more (or less) beautiful. What's interesting is that the head looks "weird" because it's real, while if I'd used a generic profile like the ones we're used to seeing online, it would've looked "normal" precisely for its "fakeness".

What was your process for creating this work?

So, the form came first. I knew what I wanted the poem to look like long before I knew what it would say. It was the child of visual art and so I never stopped thinking about it as a visual artist. I needed different sides that didn't quite match, parts that made sense, parts that didn't... Such is life. The words themselves came, as alluded to in the poem itself, as a stream of consciousness. They surprised me as much as they might have done you. A pleasant surprise. A real "blast from the past."

Roy was honored to perform at last year's Barcelona Beat Poetry Festival alongside some of Spain's most successful contemporary performance poets. His work has recently appeared (or is on it's way) in The Trouvaille Review, Night Bus to Speakers' Corner, Anti-Heroin Chic, PoENtry Slam, Flashes of Brilliance, Half-baked and an as yet untitled anthology to raise money for Marie Curie nurses during coronavirus. He sometimes publishes some micropoetry on Instagram as @drinking_traveller.