It gives me great pleasure to introduce Poet, Paul Brookes, to Patricia’s Pen.
In school something in me wrote of Morko Ryanne
Space Captain whose ship spirals
into a black hole of my parents arguments
as if it knew something was not right.
In school something in me wrote
of peeling white paint on worm ridden window sills
of my parents screams as I sat on the stairs
as if it knew something was not right
The hand that propelled the pen.
If a poem is meant to be a short, encapsulation of an experience then “prelude” neatly sums up why I began to write. Also, the genres through which I began to explore writing, sci-fi and gritty realism. Then from a quiet village school I moved to a comprehensive in Barnsley. A culture shock. I stand against bullying because I was bullied relentlessly. My parents were headmaster and teacher so lower middle class. I was “coddled”. I was the “other”. They were the “other” to me. I needed to walk in their shoes. While the sensible ones played football I sat on the sidelines scribbling in a big green book.
to myself during playtime, or lunchtime,
as I pass through the school years. Teacher tells
me to “stay in here.”, he points to dark lines
of desks, ” if you can’t stand the cold. Purple
skin.” He closes the door on my silent
nod. I recall crouching on our Rugby
field, ice cracking my palms as I am bent
double in pain, becoming a ruby.
I wait patrol teachers quizzical look
through these classroom windows, their burst into
the room, “What are you doing in here? Buck
your ideas up and get outside. Who?”
I hand them a scribbled Headmaster’s note.
“Never heard such nonsense!” leaves and emotes.
My first pamphlet 1993 was called The Fabulous Invention of Barnsley, came from a need to belong. It contains some Yorkshire dialect poems, too. I tried to do what Steve Ely has done with far more depth in his first collection, “Oswald’s Book of Hours”, portraying a whole community and landscape through history and language.
About Paul Brookes
Paul Brookes is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. First play performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist). He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb and videos of his Self Isolation sonnet sequence featured by Barnsley Museums and Hear My Voice Barnsley. He also does photography commissions.
Links to Books