A Whisper From Inside the Box – Prose and Voice by Colin Dardis

Colin Dardis Performs “A Whisper From Inside The Box”

A Whisper From Inside the Box

This room is too irregular. I count ten sides, what could be termed as a side, with slanted ceiling and beams that will attack your head if you have dared to grown to over five feet tall. I need my simple six sides, the cell uniformity, the block structure that easily slots into any nook of our life. How can a person think clearly with ten sides to reverberate their thoughts off?

If I open the window, does that recreate an eleventh side, the newly created angle of glass against brick? Or does it create infinite sides, a little portal to the outside where air and light and all danger lie in staggering doses? Sometimes it’s good to get the air in, to feel a little god of a breeze across your desk and believe that some kind of peace is achievable. To have a loose sheet of paper be shifted a few inches before you can react quick enough, an invisible jester teasing at your order. If any human was to do that, then instant kill. But nature is a forgiveable beast, it has earnt an allowance from my limited leniency.

If only there was no sound outside, if only you could switch on and off the things you wanted to hear, the world as your own personal playlist. Mute the children, mute the infant brays, mute the boom boom music. Let’s amplify a flower and hear what noise it makes as it releases its seed. I want to hear the strain of bark as a tree grows, the disturbance of a patch of river from a freshwater fish. Let me put my ear to the ground and hear the leaves fall, imagining their touch as a beater on a kettle drum. The forest is an orchestra that is impossible to conduct, and I want to hook up with its cacophony.

I go walking in a woodland, and I’m still boxed in: by a wire fence and a locked gate, private land, a road that brings the knife of civilisation. Freedom complete with limits. What is it I really want? I want the rain; I want shelter. I want the dirt; I want my bed. I want a valley in which no one can hear my screaming in order to judge me; I want to be heard and praised. I allow myself these contradictions. The multitudes cannot be stopped.

Colin Dardis is a neurodivergent poet, editor and sound artist from Northern Ireland. His work, largely influenced by his experiences with depression and Asperger’s, has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and USA. His books include All This Light In Which To See The Dead: Pandemic Journals 2020-21 (Rancid Idols Productions, 2022), Endless Flower (Rancid Idols Productions, 2021) and The Dogs of Humanity (Fly on the Wall Press, 2019, shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet, Saboteur Awards 2020). A new collection, Apocrypha: Collected Early Poems, will be published in 2022 by Cyberwit. Website: www.colindardispoet.co.uk. Twitter: @purelypoetry. Latest collection: All This Light In Which To See The Dead, out now via Rancid Idols Productions. Latest album: Dead Leaves, New Seeds, out now on all good streaming platforms.

Banner Art: Perspective, a manipulated digital image by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2022. Twitter: @frede_kenter

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