Door-Slammers (3)


New neighbours,
in the flat next to me.

Charge the air;
silence no longer free.

The walls are thin;
so is my skin.
A shared stairway;
a screaming baby.
All too much;
I’m going crazy.

A frantic flurry of feet.
The door to the street.
A cigarette-lighter flares.
More frantic feet on stairs.

These slammers are smokers.
The odds – they flout.
Dramatic exits
and entrances.
Don’t worry
how long the doors last.
Don’t want
to live forever
Don’t think
about the neighbour
at the end
of his tether
Be aggressive,
be percussive.
End result,
for me: concussive.

About five or six years ago, I went through a period of distraction and disturbance, caused by the neighbours who had moved into the flat next to mine.  The disturbance came in the form of loud slamming of doors, and feet repeatedly running up and down the shared stairway between their flat and mine.  Fortunately, their period of tenancy in the flat did not last that long; but by the time they moved out, I had been provoked into writing a poem, which I entitled – simply enough – “Door-Slammers”.  I have been lucky with the neighbours, since then; but, a few weeks ago, a new family moved-in, and I now find myself in the same predicament as I was five or six years ago.

When I looked again at the poem I wrote the last time, I was dissatisfied, and thought it needed to thoroughly revised.  In the new version, I’ve cut-out any unnecessary adverbs and adjectives, and tried to express the percussive nature of the experience in the format of the poem. 


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