Writer of the Month: Nikki Dudley for October 2021
This month's pick is a rising star in the writing community and indie-press world, and rightly so, as her heartwrenching, experimental poem "Memory 2" shows she is as talented a poet as she is a novelist, editor, mentor, and writing programme creator and facilitator!
Nikki is managing editor of streetcake magazine and also runs the streetcake writing prize and MumWrite, a writing programme for mothers. She has a chapbook and collection with KFS. She is the winner of the Virginia Prize 2020. Her second novel, Volta is available on Amazon.com, and her experimental chapbook "I'd Better Let You Go" is out with Beir Bua Press. Her website is: nikkidudleywriter.com or you can find her on twitter @nikkidudley20 and instagram @nikkisdudley
WE DIDN’T LEAVE YOU. Consciousness is a flashback to 1953 THE YEARS ARE FRAGILE WEBS THAT CONNECT US but you don’t know who I am. Recognition is your wedding photo YOUR TRADITIONS WILL GO WITH YOU on the cabinet but you think all of us are actors. WE WOULDN’T BE HERE WITHOUT A DEFICIT The mind is knowing who you are but not knowing who I am. YOU SPENT YOUR LIFE TRYING TO FILL IT You remind me to buy Sprite but can’t remember where your money went. BUT THE GLASS WAS ALWAYS LEAKING LOVE Thought is thought is thought is now fraught and frail. Reflection is HE DROVE WITH MACE IN HIS EYES TO SHOW YOU picking up the phone. Retention is where you came from HE HAD NOT GIVEN UP ON LOVE but getting lost two thirds of the way home. Recapture us. Recapture this. EVEN THOUGH YOU WERE SENT AWAY BY THE PEOPLE WHO ARE MEANT TO CRADLE YOU Recapture ourselves. Recapture what is lost. Amnesia is outside the door. Don’t let it in. Hallucinations YOU TRIED TO CREATE A NEW NARRATIVE are a creation of creation that you create TO PLASTER OVER THE FLAWS and creatures constitute creation. Nostalgia is the Irish Centre WE HELD UP YOUR HAPPY ENDING WITH SHAKING HANDS and the man who loved you in a day. Apprehension is not recognising our faces. Not trusting YOU MADE US SAVIOURS IN YOUR STORY the words. An inkling is us, and love, BUT WE COULDN’T COLLECT THE PIECES OF YOU and phone calls at 6am on birthdays. A biography is not THE GLUE WORE AWAY YOUR BRAIN the last 6 months. Memories are a story someone told you THE GLUE WORE AWAY IN OUR HEARTS and you collected as your own. A chronicle WE ALL FELL APART will never be you IN THE END.
Inspiration behind the poem
This poem is part of a hybrid collection about my nan (grandmother) and the dementia she suffered at the end of her life. This piece is a combination of a piece using various synonyms linked to memory intermingled with personal memories of my nan. The words in CAPs add another layer of reflection on her life and our experiences of her illness.
You can connect with Nikki on twitter, instagram, or her website. Her chapbook, "I'd Better Let You Go" is available from Beir Bua Press, as is her forthcoming Keats-themed chapbook "Fanny B. Mine." Her thriller, Volta, is available on amazon.
Disclaimer: EMC's Writer of the Month series seeks to promote the artist and their featured writing and is in no way an endorsement of any of said artist's services, opinions or other work outside of this feature.