Category Archives: Hutson, Ashley

Excoriation

by Ashley Hutson

Microsoft Word - Ashley_Hutson-excoriation.doc

Ashley Hutson is an emerging writer living in Sharpsburg, MD. Her work appears or is forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, Calliope, The Lascaux Review, The Heavy Contortionists, DOGZPLOT, Pantheon, and elsewhere. In 2014, she was named the short fiction finalist for the Orlando Prize. Find her on the web at www.aahutson.com.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Excoriation”?

    I wrote the poem portion because I became fixated on repeating hard consonants. The idea started from the word pluck, which is very onomatopoeic to me.

    But the poem alone seemed unfinished. The triptych format provided another level of obsession—the poem picks at itself. After I added the “wings” on either side, the piece felt complete.

    As for the content of the poem, I wanted to explore something beyond the freak show impression society tends to have of people dealing with compulsive behaviors, especially behaviors that manifest in a very physical way. There is a lot more to these disorders than missing hair and skin.