Paul Brookes takes us through five stories, pictures of the great and small ironies of life drawn as we observe the daily routines, rituals and reactions in lives where birds have jam sessions on rooftops, mausoleums live on fridge doors, the memory of a touch stays with the skin; lives where hands are telling and people hunger, give what’s not wanted and take what’s not given. – Jamie Dedes, editor of The BeZine
In Answer To His Question
She smirks as he wipes his sloppy mouth
with her origami napkin t shirt,
leaves a brown stain on the shirt sleeves,
slurps his ninth pint.
Watches him leer at the catwalking
long legged, black stockinged
waitress in her tiny black dress
as she carries his hot apple pie
and custard, and places before him
with a seductive, pouted “Enjoy.” to his face,
and her cold fresh fruit salad.
She unfolds her origami napkin crane,
lays it on her lap, pauses an orange segment
before her dry mouth:
“We’re walking home tonight.”, she announces.
Their Mausoleum On His Fridge Door
Peels off the tissue as if it was a religious relic,
as she always insisted he leave no ragged edges
on the toilet or kitchen paper and shows the world
he is not lackadaisical and is his own man.
She Is Seen As Unseen
She always wakes before the alarm
on her mobile starts
and counts to seven. The alarm
is a recording of a German woman
bringing herself off.
“Raquel. Turn that down or off.
I’ve opened the windows. Not
everyone wants to hear
a German woman masturbating
first thing in the morning!” shouts
her companion Robin from the kitchen.
She Needs That Edge
She hates him making her safe.
Remembers times when she
her pockets and the sofa
for fag money and the float
ten pound note she would give
to him and him to her when they were short.
“Life is boring when there’s no edge to it.” she says.
Their Hands Tell More Than Their Eyes
His loam palms,
over our threshold.
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Paul Brookes was, and is, a shop assistant, after employment as a security guard, postman, admin. assistant, lecturer, poetry performer with “Rats for Love”. His latest book, A World Where, was published by Nixes Mate Books. His work was included in Rats for Love: The Book, (Bristol Broadsides, 1990). He has published the chapbooks The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993), the illustrated The Headpoke And Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press), and the illustrated The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS) He has read his work on BBC Radio Bristol and designed and presented a writer’s workshop for sixth formers that was broadcast on Radio Five Live. More of him can be found at thewombwellrainbow
Copyright © 2018 Paul Brookes
Cover photograph by Paul Brookes
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal.
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