Ode to Quiet

Jayant Kashyap

A Golden Shovel after ‘The House with Only an Attic and a Basement’ by Kathryn Maris

In one of those countries where ordinary people aren’t allowed to speak, and the
doors of houses are made up of locks, a man

and a woman loved each other — in life and in
death, they’d said — and they lived through periods of surveillance under the

regime, trying to hide; and once they hid in an attic or a basement:
couldn’t say, they wrote,

there weren’t too many rooms to bother about; and people read stories
about a couple that didn’t know an attic from a basement. Popular, they wrote stories about

cartels, with women dealing in heroin
and portrayed them as heroines. Under the

regime, the man and the woman
loved each other — in life and in

death — and they lived through periods of starvation, in hiding, and followed the
custom of silence; and once they hid in an attic

or a basement: couldn’t say, they wrote; and people read
stories about a couple that didn’t know an attic from a basement. Popular, they wrote stories

about cartels, with
women dealing in heroin and portrayed them as heroines.


Jayant Kashyap is a Pushcart Prize-nominee and was shortlisted for the Poetry Business New Poets Prize in 2021. He has also just won the first prize in the Young Poets International Competition at the Wells Festival of Literature in 2021 and is the author of the poetry pamphlets Survival (Clare Songbirds, 2019) and Unaccomplished Cities (Ghost City Press, 2020). His zine, Water, is out with Skear Zines in November 2021, and his poems can be found in MagmaInk Sweat & TearsStepAway and Visual Verse, among others. Find him on Twitter and Instagram @jaydkash.