A World Where
By Paul Brookes
Review by Julie Carpenter
Here at Sacred Chickens, Paul Brookes is one of our favorite poets. We’ve published a good number of his powerful narrative poems. The poetry speaks for itself. Here are some examples if you've never been introduced:
His Fridge Door Their Mausoleum
It is with pride and pleasure that we recommend his book A World Where, physically a small book, but containing, as suggested by the title, a world. Inside find a world where juxtaposition is pointed truth, a world where being alive is a busy sort of death and where aging towards perfect health is a curse and not a blessing. The imagined dystopia cuts close to reality, drawing blood.
Narrative poets often lose the poetry, the immediacy of words, in the story – drawing out time and pulling it thin, instead of distilling moments. But Brookes has the rare ability to revel in the moment with a rhythmic thread of words, to suggest the urgent now, while still suggesting the flow of time.
Brookes poetry is true and unsettling, hands on the human heart, feeling the beat without flinching. Every poem is a narrative that distills the moment while effortlessly recalling for the reader the necessary context of past and future, one instant in a visible stream of time. He is skilled at twisting the expected into the uncomfortable and allowing the reader to see that this spin was always the truth. A masterful short book of poems that creates an entire world of voices.
Paul Brookes was shop assistant, security guard, postman, admin. assistant, lecturer, poetry performer, with "Rats for Love" and his work included in "Rats for Love: The Book", Bristol Broadsides, 1990. His first chapbook was "The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley", Dearne Community Arts, 1993. He has 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 Clear Poetry, The Bees Are Dead, Live Nude Poems and others.