Fakir Flake Fake

Feel empty in your post apocalyptic City of Angels,
Where not even your pets are real!
An electric android, a sheep or a frog,
The whir-flutter of micro-electrical wings of a butterfly.

Good, and so you ought.

Now, grab the handles of your empathy box,
And in a shared virtual hallucination –
Feel: empathy, depression, pain, delusion and despair,
The outré myriad gifts of consciousness.

Millions of discombobulated and disconnected wrecks:
Adam’s sons; Eve’s daughters,
And among them simulations too,
Fakes! androids!
A phony circuit of semi-conscious memories,
A hive of neural malaise!
Welcome to our world; know how dead, inside, I feel.

You, yes, you:

Need a pet to make you more complete?
Maybe you can afford
A Fake Fakir Flake like me who looks like Jude Law,
Sounds like Richard Burton,
And silently romances you like Rudolph Valentino.
Come and stick what’s left of your mind in here,
In hair, hear her: har, har, har…

A box of lies…

A voice, Mercer’s,
With texture from an age you neither lived in nor dared in:
Al Jerry’s, a TV actor,
Droning on in pre-selected tones.

The real thing, the men, the women, their animals,
Made in the wild, wild desert, in the green pulsing savannah,
On the open crusted sea; now too, washed, choked, and drained,
Too many spliced and diced mutations,
Iterating your image:
The thing that was my heart, My Child, now its imitation.

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Spring in Reverse

As the new moon rises fat on blood,
And feelings high run,
Panic erupts in the heart of Europe.

For a menace unfettered brings
A festival of carnage,
A massacre!
To darken where light should have dismissed the vestige of winter gone.

Silence as we hang our heads in sorrow for the innocent who will never now be heard,
While lunatics bloated on moonshine,
Clip the yellow bud of spring,
Leaving us to embrace the dead season’s ghost.

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Silicone Souls

Sandwiched in layers of liquid crystal display,
Encased in vats of plastic, We,
Voyaging in data-spheres, plumes of digital play.

Mindless,
In the soup of silicone, all
Myth-makers,
Pouring over electro-spawned networks, fall
Workers,
In the buzz of bits and bytes, of megabytes and terabytes,
down.

Far from the wood, the brine, the mud that caked us,
In tighter and tighter digitised  projections, click:

‘Like me’, ‘Share me’, ‘Leave your comments.’

Messages smoothed out in polymers,
Beyond reproductions of ourselves, enter,
Deeper, delving in the mire of dream-conscious,

Now a waking voice,
Hardened, digitised, recorded in bubbles, in drives, in clouds:
Numb numbers of numbers numb, mirror.

A platform slotted home:
The motherboard!
To record the echo in the hollow of our Being.

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Ubik

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Review by Ashley Chapman

Ubik (1969) by Philip K. Dick has that deceptively straightforward prose style that is as once as engaging as it is profound, a rare combination of a voice that is guile-free but coloured with a zany irascible humour.

‘Dick is comfortable with ideas like psy-phenomenon, the parapsychological, telepathy, precognition, psychokinesis and near-death, in his hands, all made so innocuous you begin to feel at ease with the non-living.’

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