Tag Archives: dystopia

Metropolis

Stark geometric lines
intersecting clean marble
and steel;
horizonless concourses
deserted entrance halls,
empty corridors
vacant escalators
ascending,
descending
in relentless
progression;
Walls hyphenated
with reminders
to purchase,
to consume
bellowing mutely
into the void;
shimmering platform mirrors,
clipped automated announcements,
data screens streaming
their silent prophecies;
Inexorable arrivals
whooshing
and rumbling,
debouching into
the gleaming Now
of a glass-towered
morning amid its
awakening rage
there on
the bench
face down,
his skin again
punctured,
no-one.

Surveillance

He watches the lives of others through the end of a telephoto lens.

It’s 5:42 a.m. on an ordinary suburban housing estate and he’s been squatting for the past 6 hours in an unmarked delivery van when he catches a fleeting glimpse of a window-framed face. The same face that’s appeared at the same time at the same window on each day that he’s been here.

Parked in the driveway of the house opposite, he’s taken on the role (at least in his own imagination), of ethnographer studying and recording for academic posterity the esoteric habits and rituals of an hithertofore unknown indigenous society.He records in the neatest handwriting the ephemera of the lives of others.Their daily routines timetabled in line-ruled pocket notebooks of which he keeps more than sufficient under his seat.

Outside his ethereal realm as disembodied observer, in the lives of others a telephone rings.

Its receiver is lifted. It’s followed by a rush of silence.He adjusts his earphones and enters a menacing voicelessness.The spools of his tape-recorder engage.”Click , click ” as though a conductor is tapping his baton bringing an orchestra to order.

There is to his mind a haunting absence of noise. When telephones ring and their receivers are lifted, conversations follow. Except when they don’t and he catches another fleeting glimpse of the window-framed face that he saw just a few minutes ago.

Inexplicably, the receiver is replaced,” Click ” .The tape-recorder stops.

It’s 5:52 am and across the city in a sound studio on the fourth floor of an otherwise unremarkable office building the voices he’d captured less than 24 hours ago are on playback. Their rhythms and cadences mimic the lives of others.They hear him listening to them, listening to him listening.

Observed. Recorded. Collated. Analysed.

“Click”

Of Games & Candles

Time is etched like memories

on the membrane some

call fate and others chance;

none there are now to

gainsay the swinging pendulum

that swung so far

yet never returned at the

unstruck hour on the

unremarkable day that

slipped quietly away and

lost itself somewhere in the mist;

others say that carousels have

stopped running rings around the moon;

and when the moment comes that we’ve been waiting for

we’ll discover that in truth he left us far too soon.

 

 

Heckler & Koch

It’s gonna be a Heckler & Koch morning,

but i don’t know that yet as I get up at 4.30 a.m.

to use the toilet;

The hall light’s on and I notice the front door’s open,

wide open but I need the toilet first;

Minutes later appropriately attired I almost somnambulate

toward the wide open front door and the faces –

flecks of colour- in black black black camouflage;

It’s a Heckler & Koch morning alright,

Their voices instruct me to come out,

there they are strapped onto body armour,

their Heckler & Kochs:

who am I, who lives there,how many flats ?

I make it casual even conversational given the situation,

getting up and ready for work,

they say I should get back to my flat,

I do;

Time doesn’t flow,not much really,

I’m getting my breakfast ready,

they knock diplomatically on my flat door;

I cajole one of them to come in –

the rest of the squad is jackbooting

up to the other flats and I’m chatting and

giving what useful info I can ;

The scenario continues for about half an hour,

I hear them smashing the door to the empty flat next to mine:

It’s a Heckler & Koch morning in downtown Wakefield,

and I’ve had my breakfast and I depart for

my Heckler & Koch day at my Heckler & Koch job ,

the main entrance door to these 5 pokey apartments –

pied-a-terres-but without any metropolitan pretensions-

remains wide open until I close it respectfully behind me

and step out into the Heckler & Koch morning.

 

Author’s Footnote:

At around 4.30 a.m. Monday 26 November a heavily armed Police SWAT unit showed up at the address where I live; it turned out they had the wrong address.

 

Extraction Point

Rotor blades are swiping the sky,

bronze and orange paint their

surreal stripes across the horizon;

throbbing humming whirring,

meld into cacophany;

Rotor blades are swiping the sky,

chattering clattering hammering,

smacking concrete jarring the senses;

squatting crouching striding toward

the doors yawning open,

huddled in shock huddled in awe;

the bronze and orange painting

their surreal stripes brighter than before;

seconds seconds minutes pass,

losing time time gone;

throbbing bursting choking rotors

rev their roar,

doors slamming slamming

shut as coffin lids,

whisps, plumes and clouds

of smoke curl and choke

scrawl their epitaph

over the city;

bronze and orange continue to bleed,

rotor blades are swiping the sky.

 

Stalker

He saw you there,

there in the magazine

there on stage

there on the screen;

pristine,immaculate

in black

in white,

you filled his eyes

sparkled and dazzled them;

Pristine,immaculate

your form,

your shape

so casually,lazily

represented as if

painted by Michaelangelo

in an Age of beauty and mystery;

Pristine,

immaculate

he sees you now

leaving your fancy apartment

on the Boulevard Saint Michel,

you are alone,

you are pristine,

you are immaculate;

he reaches for

the syringe

and

steps out to meet you..

More Than Words

Those words that used to mean so much
more back then,
mean a whole lot less than that now;

Keep on repeating repeating the
words that you borrow and steal,
keep repeating that till
you’ve convinced yourself
that you asked and paid for
every thought stolen
every truth borrowed;
Quote plagiarise paraphrase,
every aphorism saying axiom
allegory parable metaphor analogy;
Warp it into something something
then something else again,
build a tower a babylon of words,
watch them rise and
stadiums echo with adulation
for their orator;

Your words that used to mean so much
more back then,
mean a whole lot less than that now.

Sclerosis

The lights change

traffic crawls past

the discount stores

the charity shops and tanning salons,

off-licences and bookies,

the barbers and Greggs;

Another bleary-eyed morning

drab and dreich,

the cityscape wears the weather

like a mourning veil

pulled tight across its face;

Shuffling off their coils of ennui

in dribs and drabs

the denizens answer to

the day’s tolling bell,

unprepared,

looking the worse for wear.

Night Listener

Listening to faltering surreal broadcasts

serenading another Summer equinox,

the composition’s title eludes him,

Miles;haunting contemplative succinct

flags down thoughts mimicking melancholy,

Gil Goggins’ circumspect piano

embedded in the spent day’s residue

receding like the listener’s reverie

broken by random sniper-shots of glass,

endemic tension flowing,

burst-veined onto midnight alleys

of this midnight City,

frantic frazzled red ‘n’ blue

taking some more cold meat

away to the coroner’s slab,

away from midnight streets

haunted by ” Yesterdays”,

that title hunted down and

captured by a desire to

have words for that spell

cast on a night long ago

in a faraway City where

another night-listener

heard the night

with its surreal,faltering..

When Summer Returns

When Summer returns,

the last of the bones

will have been buried,

the endless lists of names

will have been erased,

even the memories of those names

will be forgotten;

When Summer returns,

meadows again will bloom

hiding their terrible scars,

under the green and growing

nourished by the dust

buried beneath;

When Summer came,

the gates swung open,

they poured in,

one vast tide of flesh.