Poem Broadside

Identical Twins Poem by Stephanie Bolster


This is me and this is me.
She’s the one who detects
a wedge of lemon slipped from the trash
and wipes a cloth along the floor to catch
all traces on the clean. I suck the rind

and stuff it between the cushions.
I pick scabs, shred kleenex in my pockets
till it rims my fingernails.

Guess which of us is smiling? I’m sick
of her wide eyes, of our stiff colour, red
welts between our legs where tights
press. I scratch; she traces with a fingertip
as though the hurt were beautiful.

Tight asleep we switch: from dreams of brilliant
groves of citrus she wakes me yelping.
I stroke my hair where it grows darkly on her scalp.

Look what you’ve done by looking.
You might as well compare me to our mongrel
as to her, we are that unsimilar.
When some joke tweezes my cheeks up,
she scowls until the world becomes
a scary mirror. When will I be everything?

This project by Jessi Dilts was a collaboration with the Poetry and Creative writing department at San Diego State University. This poem Identical Twins by the Canadian poet Stephanie Bolster was both intriguing and disturbing in both of the senses. The goal of this project was to pick a poem in the assigned regime, and to both interpret the poem visually and verbally. It was difficult to understand at first considering that my identical twin and I are so close, so I automatically thought that Stephanie Bolster was describing a positive relationship between two twin sisters. After further research I discovered that a photograph taken of two twin sisters was the premise and inspiration of the poem, and was also a photograph used as a main source of inspiration and basis of the twin characters in the movie The Shining. My interpretation was that the main twin speaking in the poem feels lesser and disconnected to her twin sister, drowning and stuck in the shadow of her identical twin. Although, they are identical there is a disconnect and misunderstanding of each other. In the poem, the twin implies how her sister is cleaner, how she has thicker more beautiful hair, how her twin is smiling when she’s not and how her sister does not even understand her humor. In my poster my verbal representation aimed to elude to the dark vibe of the poem with the black background and eerie vintage photo. For the typography I used Cochin and Univers two contrasting typefaces that from a far seem the same like identical twins, but up close are drastically different. Through Photoshop  and Indesign I tried to mimic the feeling of lacking a connection and sense of closeness between the twins, which is essentially a taboo theory, but not all twins, identical or fraternal feel a sense of connection, although my sister and I are extremely close it is not a distant concept to not get along with one’s twin sister.  This poster represents my personal verbal and visual interpretation of the poem Identical Twins by Stephanie Bolster.


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