to talk over one another
and listen at the same time.
Any silence means imprisonment.
Babies are encouraged from birth to scream.
Writing is seen as a form of silence
so everything is read aloud,
traffic signs, shopfronts, TV and radio
are talked over the top of all the time.
Songs are sung constantly. There
is no two minute silence as a sign
of respect for the dead. It is disrespectful
not to talk at the graveside,
And in church, during a sermon
or any speeches. Hecklers are encouraged.
Everyone has a voice that must be heard.
Everyone must listen and respond immediately.
"Silence" is from a new chapbook, A World Where, forthcoming from Nixes Mate.
Paul Brookes has been a shop assistant, security guard, postman, administrative assistant, lecturer, and poetry performer. His work was included in Rats for Love: The Book (Bristol Broadsides, 1990). His first chapbook was The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). He read his work on BBC Radio Bristol and had a creative writing workshop for Sixth Formers broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live. Recently published in Blazevox, Nixes Mate, Live Nude Poems, The Bezine, The Bees Are Dead and others.
His forthcoming chapbooks are The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017) and The Headpoke, and illustrated chapbook by Alien Buddha Press.