Sunday 30 November 2014

New Poem: Noise

We were indoors when we heard a noise. My flatmate

said, ‘Can you hear that?’

I said, ‘What?’

He said, ‘Listen.’

I said, ‘I am listening.’

‘No,’ he said, ‘shuttup and then you’ll hear it.’

I stood absolutely still.

‘I can hear you breathing,’ I said.

‘No, not that, ‘he said, ‘that.’

‘That’s the point,’ I said, ‘everytime you say, ‘that’ I

don’t know the ‘that’ you mean.’

‘There,’ he said.

‘Just because you change the ‘that’ to ‘there’ doesn’t

make it any easier.’’

‘That,’ he said.

‘Ah, you’ve switched back.’ I said.

‘Listen,’ he said.

‘Aeroplane,’ I said.

‘That’s not an aeroplane,’ he said.

An aeroplane passed overhead.

‘That’s an aeroplane,’ I said.

‘I know that’s an aeroplane,’ he said, ‘I meant the noise.’

‘The aeroplane is making a noise,’ I said.

‘I don’t mean the aeroplane noise,’ he said.

I listened really hard.

‘Do you think it’s an animal?’ I said.

‘I think it’s industrial,’ he said.

‘There’s no industry left round here,’ I said.

‘It’s something with an industrial sound,’ he said.

‘Animals can make industrial sounds,’ I said, ‘the cats

make a kind of dvvvvvv sound sometimes when they’re


‘There!’ he said.

‘That’s someone’s fridge,’ I said.

‘No one’s fridge is that loud,’ he said.

‘Wrong,’ I said, ‘people are buying ancient fridges these days,

Some of them make that noise.’

‘How ancient?’

‘I don’t know, fridges from the 1950s. I’ve seen them,’ I said.

‘It’s a drill,’ he said.

‘Or a sander,’ I said.

‘Who would be sanding at this time?’

‘Or a cement mixer.’

‘Yes, it does sound like a cement mixer,’ he said.

‘No I meant, ‘who would be using a cement mixer at this

time?’’ I said.

‘But it does really sound like a cement mixer,’ he said.

‘There goes another aeroplane,’ I said.