|Alone in the common room,
I watch them shuffle across the gleaming tile
to the interview room
where they bare their souls.
I see pain, fear, anguish
Some surrender easily,
The tough ones resist the descent,
I wonder, does anyone still cry for me?
My turn comes,
– Peter von Stackelberg
This digital narrative is also posted on Cowbird.
Psych Ward was inspired in part by Yusef Komunyakaa’s poem Prisoners (text here).
This work was written during September and October, 2003. The first version was completed Oct. 16, 2003 and presented to a poetry seminar class that week. A revision was completed on Nov. 5, 2003. It was published without the image in Bayousphere 2005, a literary arts magazine published by the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
The image was created in February and March, 2004 using a composite of six different digital photographs. After the colors of the individual elements were adjusted to ensure they matched, the cut images were stitched together in Photoshop. The resulting composite was used as a template for the creation of the final image. That final image was created using Photoshop’s smudge tool to smear the colors and create the strokes visible in the image. The technique of using Photoshop’s smudge tool might be considered the digital equivalent of using a smudge stick with oil pastels on paper.