Crowding-out Effect

Poetry / Aremu Adams Adebisi

:: Crowding-out Effect ::

the crowd mopped my tears with phatic decimation.
the crowd scraped the olive oil on my skin with a strigil.

the crowd contended that flames are infectious
and suggested we both apprentice them, me

with a subject body, they with their predicate tongues.
the crowd engineer my mind, my brain, my thought

-process, everywhere thinking is they converge
to galvanize me into them. i am afraid the crowd

may turn mob pretty soon, so i sheathe my strangeness
like a ship's bottom protected from barnacles.

only the dead are unruffled by loudness, as the living
pay the price of breath heaving to breathe again.

the crowd are those i share an affinity with, yet they
abound in differences that call for spades and graves.

we will rather see us dead than share in human diversity.
belief is a worrying affect, sticking like leeches to the skin.

you say “come to me, come to me, i will wrap you in my robe,
put the flames off.” but you are the crowd without a sanctuary.


From the writer

:: Account ::

As an under­grad­u­ate of Eco­nom­ics in my final year, I touch on a lot of per­spec­tives, espe­cial­ly relat­ing the social sci­ences to lit­er­a­ture. I hold the con­vic­tion that eco­nom­ics is more like lit­er­a­ture, poet­ry espe­cial­ly, with its con­cept of human behav­iourism. For exam­ple, once a lec­tur­er came into class and was talk­ing about the crowd­ing-out effect, which orig­i­nal­ly means the gov­ern­ment infring­ing on ven­tures that would have been left to the mar­ket. But the moment this lec­tur­er was say­ing this, I got a whole new per­spec­tive to it, a whole new dimen­sion: a per­spec­tive not far away in mean­ing from the orig­i­nal mean­ing the con­cept has. In fact it was like a com­ple­men­tary aspect to it. Crowd­ing-out here, there­fore, should be seen as the pres­sure of the pub­lic on the indi­vid­u­als, the sub­jec­tive per­cep­tions that every­one are expect­ed to live by, incon­sid­er­ate of indi­vid­ual unique­ness. More like infring­ing on indi­vid­ual rights, like the gov­ern­ment does to ven­tures. The poem affirms the need for an indi­vid­ual under­stand­ing towards tol­er­ance, which unfor­tu­nate­ly is lack­ing, even in the most trust­wor­thy ones among us.


Are­mu Adams Ade­bisi is a North-Cen­tral Niger­ian writer, an under­grad­u­ate of eco­nom­ics at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ilorin, and an author of works inspired by nat­ur­al vast­ness, published/forthcoming in Lucent Dream­ing, Thim­blelit­mag, Third Wednes­day Mag­a­zine, The Cathex­is North­west Press, Terse Jour­nal, and else­where. He curates ART­moster­rif­ic and serves as an Asso­ciate Edi­tor for Elar­tinia Mag­a­zine. He has appeared in the Best ‘New’ African Poets Anthol­o­gy and 20.35 Africa’s Anthol­o­gy of Con­tem­po­rary Poet­ry. He tweets as @aremudamsbisi and is a lover of sun­birds and sunflowers.