You chain my body and restrain me
putting my mind in a state of uncertainty.
You watch as I struggle to become free.
I pull hard, my eyes closed, my teeth clenched.
Blow away my life piece by piece,
ripping my memories corners at a time
as I watch bound to your platform.
You watch with fury, because even though I’m weak I do not give in.
Painfully I still grip reality,
slipping in and out trying not to lose it.
It’s like a slow drip of a drug into my body.
Finally I loosen my grip and succumb
sinking into a darkness and silently seeing everything,
but unable to prevent it.
Now my body lay feeling riddled with your bullets and weights
as you take over.
Pity how even the starving dogs quit on me,
won’ t take my handouts,
skitter away from my hunks of meat, the curs.
Learn more about M.G. Allen, author of “The Billboard” in Dark Moon Digest 18.
1. What was the idea behind “The Billboard”?
It started out as a flash fiction piece about a kid who murders his annoying graffiti artist friend by pushing him off a billboard. The last sentence was going to say, “He tagged that billboard with more than his name”. But when I was writing the description of these two guys climbing the creaking billboard in the middle of the night, the scene became very vivid and alive to me. I imagined Ricky being highly affected by the huge creepy faces smiling in the dim lighting. I thought of the Stendhal Syndrome, a condition where someone is put into a trance-like state by staring at a work of art. I wondered if a billboard advertisement could have this same effect on someone. I was introduced to this concept by horror movie director, Dario Argento, with his movie The Stendhal Syndrome. I always thought he could have done more with this concept. It always stayed in the back of my mind. I also wrote “The Billboard” in an Unreliable Narrator format so maybe Ricky has this condition or maybe he’s sicker than his admitting to the reader. This story is one of my favorites because it’s really up to the interpretation of the reader to conclude what’s going on in Ricky’s narrative.
2. How do you get writing again when you have a block?
I stop writing. When I’m blocked it just signals to me that I need input. So I’ll go do stuff. Have fun. Meet up with friends ride my bike, drink beer, watch movies, spin around on the floor . . . whatever.
3. Do you write with music? If yes, what do you typically listen to?
I listen to standard music that a white guy from suburban America would listen to (See Guitar-Based Rock) plus some other acquired tastes. I also love movie soundtracks. Instrumental stuff works best when writing, less distracting. Michael Nyman worked for a while. The Old Boy soundtrack is good. A Clockwork Orange soundtrack is interesting. Soundtracks to movies are nice and moody.
4. Besides writing, what else do you like to do with your life?
Life? I have a life outside of my head? I try. I taught ESL for a while in Asia so I like traveling. Writing and my day job consume so much of my time I try to fit other things around them these days.
5. Links, links, links
My novel, Things, is currently up at Amazon. You’ve heard of Amazon, right? My Author’s Page is located here:
Check out my M.G Allen Facebook page, too.
Make sure to grab an issue of Dark Moon Digest 18 today to read M.G.’s story!