Hearing Things – by Mat Riches

 

I found my calling in backgrounds,
and replicating the noises
only noticed when they’re absent.

My sleight of hand is often found
behind creaks of creeps on old stairs;
that’s me pulling nails from fresh planks.

The sound of rain falling in films
is bacon being fried up close.
I made lunch today, it poured down

and I couldn’t tell the difference.
The mundane gives drama root notes:
a guillotined neck gets its voice

from a cleaver through a cabbage.
Hams hang on a hook to be punchbags
and put their heft behind fistfights.

A lion’s roar enhances car chases
and flapped gloves make the swooping sounds
from birds of prey about to kill,

but birdsong’s only ever birds
being themselves. I’ll drive for days
to record the correct species.

What noises can empty rooms make
when no one’s there to record them?
This keeps me awake every night.

Just last night I thwacked a dead cow
in the ribs with a cricket bat,
and I know my motives were sound.