At Bilston Library by Steve Corton


I sit down to write a poem.
The prompt is ‘sounds’. Or a sound.
And I scribble down sounds and think of sounds:
a gurgling brook, a fighter jet, revolutionary chants;
and I listen:
outside           a car boot slams     a moped splutters   random snippets of
                                                                        breeze                        -          carried                        talk
 
inside             a laughing child        a whispered conversation              and the hum

of the fluorescent strip light above my head       Hardly registers.

I’m sat down to write a poem
About ‘sounds’. Or a sound
and the incessant hum
of the fluorescent strip light above my head
is a background irritation                Barely             registers.

I’m sat down to write a poem
about ‘sounds’. Or a sound
and the incessant hum
of the fluorescent strip light above my head
 is a constant                         unsettling                             buzz
like a raucous wasp
stuck in a sticky jam jar.
I                       swat               it                      from                my                  ears                and

I’m sat down to write a poem
about ‘sounds’. Or a sound
and the incessant hum
of the fluorescent strip light above my head

and the incessant buzz
of the fluorescent     strip    light
above my head -

the                  incessant                   buzz -

and                 the                              incessant                   buzz -

the      I n c e s s a n t          d r o n e         f I z z               h I s s             c r a c k l e    w h I r
s s s c r E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E ch

of the fluorescent strip light
above my head
is
    now
            a
                  high
                           speed
                                         dentist’s

 

                                                       drill
a                      m   e   t   r   e                        l   o   n   g

and                 pushed           in         right               to                    the                 shank

while I am strapped                         to this chair               in this room               in this place

to                    write               a                      poem

          

  about                           this                              sound.


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