Noise & Sound Reflections now on audio
Ironic as it may seem I am delighted to announce the publication in audio of my book, a meditation on noise narrated impeccably by Gareth Richards.
What is noise? What happens when it gets inside your head? In his hilarious story “Sound Reflections”, James Lawless sends up in his typical humorous fashion the effects of noise on contemporary people, and this follows with the more serious poem “Noise”, which explores the devastation uncontrolled cacophony can inflict on sensitive individuals.
‘James Lawless has a lyric gift.’ The Australian Journal of Irish Studies.
A five star review from an Amazon reviewer Grady Harp:
‘It seems James Lawless can handle any genre tossed his way. As expected, his style is radiant, sings, and makes for a very fine read. Irish author and poet James Lawless was born in Dublin, read Irish and Spanish at the University College Dublin, followed by honors studies in Communications and Cultural Studies at Dublin City University where he earned his Masters degree. He has been both a secondary schools teacher and a guest lecturer as well as volunteering for social concerns organizations. His highly successful career has been molded by not only his gifts as a poet, a writer of short stories, and a novelist (he is widely published) but also by his concerns with humanitarian issues and political histories.
Having read and reviewed several of the novels of James Lawless and falling into their spells he weaves, it is a pleasure to see how he speaks about his world in a few words he assembles as poems – which is indeed what this book is, an extended prose poem on reflections about sounds versus noise and how they affect our poet. To wit, he opens this brief book with an internal conversation called SOUND REFLECTIONS: `Sun in, sun out. Can it not make up its mind? Curtains drawn, curtains open. Window close . No, open. Wait. The sound. Of peace. It’s okay . Leave the window open. Just the gentle buzzing of a late summer bee. No sound of the bowler from that widow woman’s house? What’s that woman’s name? Damned if I know. We’re in suburbia after all; we’re not meant to know the names of contiguous beings. She has a strange son who visits from time to time, saw him walking down the road a few times, a Goth– is that what they call them ?– who dresses in black with long dreadlocks, a heavy fellow. The dog, an Alsatian, is locked up for days on end for all to hear, a disturbed dog. Wouldn’t you be disturbed too if you were cooped up for time on end? Like me. Am I disturbed? No. I can do things a dog can’t do. I’m homo sapiens after all. I have devices to make up for the lack in me. Whatever it is he gets up to, that Goth, doesn’t have a job, does drugs, Betty says.’ And after more ruminations he states, `My little transistor radio is playing a song called A Beautiful Noise. How can one have such a title for a song? Noise cannot be beautiful, being by its nature cacophonous like the dog’s bark –no matter how he tries he’ll never create a symphony. But a beautiful noise, and there he is, the singer, Neil Ruby or somebody, humming away to his heart’s content and the fast talking compère singing his praises, joining in you might say with `what a wonderful, a truly wonderful song’.
And then moves into a long poem called NOISE (excerpts here):
I can rail against the machine of noise
but there are no weapons to attack it
as more and more machines
their voices reaching
a screaming pitch
as they pass the apex
where my house is
its foundations rocking.
Noise is a loud logic
silencing the spontaneous
immobilising the free
it is a megaphone
commanding us to the shower rooms
attracting to itself
of all who hear
and we go meekly
believing the promise.
Reading James Lawless is at all times refreshing, entertaining, engrossing and thought provoking – like having a very wise friend next door who simply makes the world make sense.’ Grady Harp.
Listen to a sample, read more great reviews or get a copy at