Are you listening?
You’re listening.
You’re breathing in. You are holding your breath.
Your ears are whirring. You hear the whirring in your ears. It is a timeless whoosh.

You’re breathing out. You hear yourself breathing out.
After that it’s quiet. You hear nothing. A pin could drop.
You are listening.

Isn’t there a trifling flurry? You perceive something barely audible. There seems to be a slight noise, that nestles itself in your auricle. Is it a rustle that wants your open ear? A whiff to tickle your auditory duct? Something that crackles in the distance? A rattling that would really like to caress you? A humming to come and kiss you?

You can hear it. Yes, now you can hear. It’s a click that drips a drop on your ear sense. A speck of dust plops on your eardrum. A crack, small enough to fit quietly inside you.

And then it’s quiet again. Nothing resounds. Shush. Do you really hear nothing? No?

Yes. There it is. That bubbling from just a minute ago. Splattering amicably past your inquiringly open hearing. Your wildly open ear perceives sweet drumrolls and rumbling wanting to get through as well. There’s buzzing all around now and you revel in the soft crunching. A hiss is calling to cherish your thirsty ear. O, how lovely all that gurgling and grumbling. This lightweight peeping is most welcome, as are that nicely drivelling murmur, and the tinkling that tickles your earskin.

What about that snorting, though, can you give it ear? And does that chattering fit in anywhere? Isn’t that trumpeting getting out of hand? Then block your hearing. You are blocking your ears, is what you’re trying. But it won’t work. Hearing is everywhere. And it knocks at every window of your cochlea. Clatters at the aural gates left and right. Your ears are burning from the bubbling. All the joints of your hearing system creak. Your head bellows all over and bongs in its bones. Bam! A delicious pang. And a jolly boom! Your innards are a-thundering. How heavenly it shrieks and screams. Rages and roars. Hammers and thumps. Thwack! Slap! What a delight. Bang! Wallop! A blaring hullabaloo. A heavenly hubbub that shouts with laughter inside you. Rave! Ecstasy drones and beats. How it screeches and yelps and echoes and hoots in the sonic paradise in which you’re listening. You hear! You hear, you hear sound! Sound.

Jaap Blonk, 1999
Translation: Willem Groenewegen, 2003

Live recording at SoundEye, St. Finn Barr's Cathedral, Cork, Ireland, July 11, 2009