My Night’s Two Hands

A poem by Paul Brookes


against exits and entrances,
eyes cornered by sleepdust.

Riff raff cast offs witter
as they’ve seen better.

Day is two rats in a bag
snotting one another.

Light, light against the living of the rage.
Life measured out in how many
plastic carry bags for your shopping.


Paul Brookes was and is a shop assistant. He was previously employed as a security guard, postman, administrative assistant, lecturer, and performer in the Rats for Love poetry troupe. (His poetry has been included in Rats for Love: The Book (Bristol Broadsides, 1990).)

His first chapbook, The Fabulous Invention of Barnsley, was published by Dearne Community Arts in 1993; his second chapbook, The Headpoke And Firewedding, was published by Alien Buddha Press; his third, A World Where, was published by Nixes Mate Press; and his fourth, The Spermbot Blues, was published by OpPRESS.

Brookes has read his work on BBC Radio Bristol, and hosted a creative writing workshop for sixth formers (grades 11-12 high schoolers) on BBC Radio Five Live. Some of his written work has recently appeared in Clear Poetry, Nixes Mate Review, Live Nude Poems, The Bezine, The Bees Are Dead, and other publications.

Feel free to visit his website!

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ontology

A poem by Paul Brookes


Lifted the black rubber bin lid
saw antlers first then nostrils
then eyes without light
as if looking upwards

horticultural handyman
emptying grass cuttings
into a bin beside greenhouses
owned by a venison farm

hands soft and puffy
pen push finger bone
grooved over years
nursery to college
glad with calluses

scraped, scratched bled
gloveless heave of concrete
flags, grasp shovel handle
to mix sand, water, gravel

collapsed tired muscle
in mam’s deep armchair
knackered and a smile


Paul Brookes is a former shop assistant, security guard, postman, administrative assistant, and lecturer, as well as a member of the poetry performance troupe Rats for Love. His work has been included in Rats for Love: The Book (Bristol Broadsides, 1990), and more recently in the publications Clear PoetryNixes Mate, Live Nude Poems, The Bezine, and The Bees Are Dead.

His first chapbook, The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, was published by Dearne Community Arts in 1993.

Check out his website!