blackmail press 20
Salman Shaheen

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Salman Shaheen graduated with a degree in Social and Political Sciences
from Jesus College, Cambridge in 2007 and is soon to begin the Creative
Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. As a student, Salman wrote
regularly for Varsity, Cambridge University's award winning weekly
newspaper. After becoming the paper's Literature Editor in 2006, Salman
interviewed Jill Paton Walsh and later brought Benjamin Zephaniah to its
pages. He is currently working on a novel intertwining the lives of a
disparate cast of characters, thrown together and ripped apart by the
London bombings and by a dangerous game of one-upmanship between the
external forces of Islamic extremism and white pride. The novel was a
winning entry in the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook 100th Anniversary
Novel Writing Competition. Salman was a co-host, alongside Jon Snow, on
the Channel 4 children's news series, First Edition, interviewing key
figures on a variety of topical issues. He also played an aeroplane pilot
in a Channel 4 News reconstruction, has appeared as a contestant on the
Weakest Link and as an extra in the 2004 Hollywood film, Vanity Fair -
wearing a pink turban! A firm believer that the pen truly is mightier than
the sword, Salman writes in the hope that it can make a difference.

'Arbeit Macht Frei'

Work will set us free,
Liberty is Zyklon B.
It's easier to cleanse
Than it is to clean.
60 years
And you'll wash the walls in white
Or paint them Prussian Blue.
Just an event in history.
Arbeit macht frei.

Second Hand

The second hand ticks
Away, soon completing
Full circle
Around the face;
Your face,
It's not the same,
Times change.
Do you?
The second hand
Still ticks,
Still life -
It all adds up,
But to what?
You sleep.
Do you dream?
Day dreams -
Second hand
One more turn
About face
And you're still standing.
Standing still.
You've lived your life -
Second Hand.

One Size Fits All

Hammer down those nails,
Close that lid tight,
It's dark in here, but it
Ain't me who needs
To see the light.
Cut the shite.
With four walls around me:
Out of mind,
Out of sight.
I'm easier to understand
This Way,
Summarised in a line,
Down the line,
To the line.
Wrapped up neatly;
Place a label
On my box,
Like the latest fashion,
I'm a victim.
One size fits all.