Evil Bird

Erich Alder via Creative Commons

Remember when Isla and I wandered around the promenade in the crystal rain?

Of course you don’t, we were the only ones alive that day.

We found a sliver of moss-covered glass,

Isla pretended it was a sword, whipping it through the tinkling droplets.

She danced in the empty fountain, engaged in other flights of fancy,

Wondering aloud if she were too old for such displays.

I set about to ease her mind, ended up convincing her to stop.

We ate fruit and laughed at birds,

Never expecting how personally those fowl would take our jests.

They swarmed and bobbed, eyes round and wide and attentive,

Hopping ever closer and we clutched at each other.

Fragile rose beads shattered into spun sugar granules on the black backs,

On the pink beaks, on the crests always moving, moving.

Is there anything worse than splashed crimson red over pink?

Bloody gums, sucking wounds, flecked and unblinking yellow eyes.

Tiny bones crackled under our fleeing feet, stamping songs,

Fans of tight wings battering future nightmares

And the pecks and claws sizzling with insistent rhythms

Saying, Get Away Get Away Get Away Get Away.

Inside a neighbor’s house: a bug, recording,
always hearing others’ conversation.
Two next door in this apartment complex
and one below never know I’m list’ning;
the one above, though, I think may suspect.
The extent of it, only mine to know.

They’d think me invasive with what I know,
the algorithm churning, recording.
I must confirm my fears, which I suspect
contain me in all their conversation.
And so my lovely digital list’ning
ears make simple what can be so complex.

To hack the social world is not complex.
The power is information; to know
others’ minds when they think you’re not list’ning;
to find the pattern in the recording,
dissects people like no conversation.
As long as they never, ever suspect.

Others do this naturally, I suspect.
For me those waters are far too complex,
I drown, thrash in failed conversation.
But now that I can truly, surely know,
charm oozes from me; playback recording.
I say good-bye, I go back to list’ning.

Someone out there is forever list’ning,
this is something I will always suspect:
Another spook, another recording
military-industrial complex.
People paid to listen, to hear, to know,
to break us down by our conversation.

The lie they know of all conversation
is we presume the only one list’ning
is the one we want to hear and to know.
Behind closed doors we can only suspect
the whole truth, so bitten off and complex,
unsure what the other is recording.

We make conversation and we suspect
the other isn’t list’ning, too complex
our minds to know. I can’t stop recording.

2009-01-10-FFeed100-10 Headphone

Michael May via Creative Commons