The City At Night

simon-matzinger-372199-unsplash

Wandering the cityscape at night

I am the passenger with no ride

Passing by

Passive to the passers by

 

Let me be here

And the city says ‘yes’

 

Shadowy trees eerily extend gnarled branches

Like wizened wizards

Benevolent boughs of bonhomie:

A silhouetted sop to the anomie

(my soul’s familiar enemy)

 

Let me be here

And the city says ‘yes’

 

Figures scuttle rat-like and risky

Bin bags billow in the wind:

Black balloons

In chorus rustle;

 

‘Let me be here’

And the city says ‘yes’

 

Pimps and dealers

Cut deals on corners

On edge on the edge

With jagged intentions

Searing through

Serendipity

 

‘Let me be here’

And the city says ‘yes’

 

Girl meets boy

In temptation’s trist

Bodies entwined

Under sodium glare

Breathless they murmur

In heady unison

 

‘Let me be here’

And the city says ‘yes’

 

Copyright Fizzy Wisdom 2019 

Packages

plush-design-studio-479812-unsplash

 

We go around

in neatly folded packages.

Work-shaped, mall-shaped, party-shaped.

Sufficiently malleable to fit into each slot.

Still wrapped when we get home.

(Often tightly).

 

Tightly taped and parent-shaped for the kids.

Ribbon-tied and bug eyed for the spouse.

Always gifted

But never unwrapped.

 

What if one string were slowly pulled from the top

To reveal what was inside?

‘No!’ we protest,

‘For that would destroy the package:

the multi-version of me that is my

identity’.

 

(The ‘i’ in identity

is with a little ‘i’

for the little eye

does not want to have

the inner view).

 

Pull the string.

Because what you really are

is both inside and outside

of the parcel anyway.

 

Copyright Fizzy Wisdom 2018 

The Shadow

rendiansyah-nugroho-496690-unsplash

Impossible circles etched out on my heart

You are the toddler with the ballpoint pen

And I am the rice paper

Stoically I sit here in the dark

For I have no energy left to run

And no-one to turn on the light for me

So you loom large

But I know you from old

So I hold out my hand

And we wallow in this strangeness together

Copyright Fizzy Wisdom 2018 

New York

denys-nevozhai-368571-unsplash.jpg

I lie here, cosily tucked away within the faded Art deco glamour of my big-city hideaway. My mind floats off to eras gone by as I imagine the years, the lives, the energy that this city breathed in and breathed out, each breath marking the start of a new wave in the relentless ebb and flow of metropolitan vogue.

From war rations to new fashions; Times Square with its battle of the brands: each billboard whispering in consumers’ ears to loosen the clammy grip around their wallets as they let their hard-earned money fall into the hands of the lucky profiteers; the colossal emperors and gateholders of the American Dream.

‘Everybody can be somebody in this city’they say. But isn’t somebody just another body as the hundreds march the sidewalk or the lunchtime rush subsumes the masses in the hustle and bustle, whirl and burl; the faceless swirl, soulless intersection – perhaps the odd two second connection. Exchanges are but brief sparks in the footfall: ‘how’s it going’;  ‘what a fast city we need to slow down!’ or ‘why did that muppet win the election?’

This is a world bazaar: a melting pot of art, food, fashion and snacks-at-street-corners. In one day I can see Picasso at the Met, browse Stella McCartney on Madison Avenue and eat Quesadilla, eggs over-easy and a Reese’s peanut butter cup milkshake float. ‘Hey lady! You want pretzels?’. Marching fuel keeps me going from one street corner to the next. ‘Tacos till I get to the best restaurant this side of Fifth Avenue else I might be hungry on the way?’. You don’t say. I’m not losing weight this way.

Press a button and up up up 86 floors into the sky. It’s high but my head doesn’t spin. I take some facebook selfies with my cheesiest grin just to show the folks at home I’m a somebody in this town of somebodies who are nobodies. Riding high on the American Dream. Self-esteem. A necessary commodity (but one with a big dollar subsidy).

No dollar. Blue collar. Service sector. The invisible glue of this city. Chamber maids. Bell boys. Waiters. Newspaper sellers. Burger flippers. Immigration is what holds up this nation. Capitalism on steroids; an uncontrolled pyramid scheme promising a dream of freedom that they might have in the future some day. Who’s to say? A cruel promise or a fair contest? An unequal system which doesn’t evoke protest. For everyone a winner in this game of chance and romance.

The American dream. The reality or the fantasy on which this city survives? Any gripe is silenced by the illusion of one day we’ll make it big; make it big like the collosal greats of yesteryear and today; the billionaires and heroes who have gone before. Or there is always the lottery, we say. That hope is just a palliative to that fifteen-hour day.

Copyright Fizzy Wisdom 2018 

The Pleasure Dome

dieter-de-vroomen-452887-unsplash

The hamster wheel it spins around

To transmographic dolby sound

The lights go out in castle home

The Prison of the Pleasuredome

 

Too many on a fallen trip

That ends in nothing but a slip

Into a plush velour-lined cave

With loop-piled footsteps to the grave

 

The box set series shows narrate

The day from which you ruminate

More phantom losses, pains and fears

(Your kids plugged in to ward off tears)

 

You feast on plastic e-delight

To whet a scripted appetite:

The sonic pings and muted pops

Cook mass-created lab-made slops

 

No respite from the talent shows

Your ignorance of your light grows

All languished-out in Stepford bliss

In life-resisting uselessness

 

Not synced with physicality

Your consumer lobotomy

Dictates the path which sets you free –

The shopping mall on Sunday’s spree

 

How many tiny hands have toiled –

Whose raw potential have you spoiled?

Your retail therapeutic gain

Belies an object born of pain

 

So scared of who you might well be

You forge a false identity

You never look inside to find

Who lurks within the gated mind…..

 

The mind who tells you what to buy

Who to impress, whose goods to try;

That fine consumer panoply

Has made you rush for therapy

 

So what are you at Nature’s end?

A packaged carnal overspend?

A homage to a life less pain:

The kernel of a programmed brain.

Copyright Fizzy Wisdom 2018 

Pass the Parcel

ben-white-199953-unsplash

Looking out from the clifftop into the big blue yonder

Me a small fleck

In a world that gives no feck

Still in innocence and wonder

 

I am gifted with choice and discernment

A present which I leave unwrapped

For to open it would be to accept the dance with grace

That unsafe music that I don’t want to face

 

Perfection shines its halfbeam of halo’ed light

Obscuring the shadows of the night with its sodium glare

Leaving Resistance the winner in a game of risk

That has not even started

 

Time slides moments my way

Dealing chips with the artful promise of a blackjack dealer

My possession and strategy is but the daydream of acquisition

So they fall from my grasp

Like grains of sand

 

I roll the dice and play

Ridden of existential confusion

Alongside matchstick men and women

Brittle and wooden

Hungry for the spark that sets them alight

 

Back in the game

The stakes are high

But it is time

And I’m too old to play

Pass the parcel

Copyright Fizzy Wisdom 2018 

Tumbleweed

kevin-fitzgerald-628170-unsplash

Tumbleweed buries into her deepest consciousness

Strangling all sweet serenity with a sneering sadism

Penetrating all parts that were portals to the hearts of others

And infusing them with a melancholic madness

 

The vines coil round, constricting ideas and thoughts

Suffocating simmering suggestions of surrender

Savaging Humour as though it were a lamb

Gambolling carelessly into the path of a rabid beast

 

Tight tendrils of torment catalyse the once-calm sea into an ocean of chaotic craziness

Flagellating her with the ferocity of a fairy tale ogre……..

But this fairy tale does not have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

Only the promise of disaster-zone desolation without the hope of a rescue package

 

When dawn comes she is left in shame

The Seduction shunning her like some two-a-penny lover

But she surrendered.

Not in the way that she foresaw.

Not in the way that she tried to control.

Not in the way that she expected.

Copyright Fizzy Wisdom 2018