The Screen

There is a row of tall Cypress Trees 

All neatly cut on top 

Into a plateau 

Unnaturally Flattened 

Arranged in a linearity that Nature never intended.

A seagull cuts across the Industrial Estate 

heading towards my factory 

Go on ! 

Fly straight into the window. 

Hit it ! 

Hit it hard ! 

Crash against my office windows 

And fall, feathers flying, 

To be mashed and squashed by an incoming lorry. 

Your final requiem, garrotted on the gut-strings of a DHL express. 

That’ll pass the time.

My factory. 

My windows. 

My office. 

When did they become mine ? On what day ? At what hour ? During what minute did all of this suddenly nestle itself so comfortably into my vocabulary as to call itself – mine ?

No more mine than the car I don’t own, than the fridge, 90% of which belongs to THEM – them ? Faces ? Eyes ? That office at the end of the estate ? My house ? My friends ? My life ? My god !

When did I last water my cactus ?

Like a zoom lens retracting 

Gaze returns to the computer screen haze; 

A maze 

Of figures, numbers, digits 

Biting into my skin, 

itching 

like rabid gnats !

“The level of income minus the net level of tax 

must be incorporated into the annual report’s appendix 

and include the VAT returns unless there is good reason to pick the whole lot up and chuck it out of the fucking window !

My window of course.

Biting into my skin 

Like rabid gnats 

It whirs, it whispers, 

White noise whispers 

“I am hungry, give me more, feed me !” 

Oh yes, she’s got a personality. 

From the moment I switch her on it is she who decides what will come to pass, what will transpire, what will emerge – e-m-e-r-g-e- it is she who holds the sword of Damocles over what kind a day I’ll have today.

We lock in an embrace, 

lips caress,

My legs curled around the keyboard 

While tongue licks the touch screen to a sensitive response.

Sixty minutes chase themselves 

Down the corridors of my brain. 

Where did the time go ? 

Watch the watch and wish my life away 

In an office of ‘people’ 

At varying stages of decay.

Still – it has its moments you know – work has its moments – indeed, millions of them – buzzing around my personal empire of possibilities – drowning out all hope of change.

The remnants of a secretary 

Approaches me in a stilletto limping frog march of memo-laden aimlessness – she charges like a light brigade in the direction of Mr Big’s remote-control-door operated  Gormenghast. Nothing can stop here – go on my hawk, my eagle ! Reach your destination. Reach for the sky before the earth sucks you down ! Alas ! She falters ! She stops by the window ! She falls back like a flawed Space Shuttle – so much useless endeavour – poor, poor, Daisy Bunkshaft !

She brings forth a poly-plastic cup of poison 

Blank smiles as, one by one, 

Her limbs drop off 

And she collapses in a stinking pile 

Of unrealised dreams 

And betrayal of her Gender

My gaze returns to the prison. 

Crumble walls ! Crumble ! 

Motionless in swivel-padding 

Imagination leaks out 

Like acid from a battery !

I raise the beautiful machine in my arms 

Above my head 

Plucking out plugs, sucking out the life 

I laugh ! 

As machine flies through 

Yielding glass 

And smashes 

into a million fragments 

DIE !

And take me with you – my silicon beauty ! 

The concrete below looks so inviting !

The fantasy obliterates itself. 

It is not to be ! 

Cactus Jack is beggin’ for some moonshine 

And I stare out of the window – my window.

“The level of income minus the net level of tax 

must be incorporated into the annual report’s appendix 

and include the VAT returns unless there is good reason to combine all of the figures into a single calculation….”

 

The End

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