Captive Market (A Poem).


By Sam Cottle.

(Source: “Space Launch Systems: Trisonic Wind Tunnel Testing (NASA, SLS, 08/23/12)” by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.)

render to me here void and listless air,
a still smart coming, sure as Earth’s turning; invisible as air,
dire as the hanging coughs come swooping in, no noon
warning, no vacuum warning coming now in
the heat of the midday din, to dissuade you from
the outdoors and prevent you from getting
choked to death in the streets; no halo now,
nothing here but a halo of worry marking me
out from the inquisitive crowd; a shot and the wingbeat of
rising birds sound out to pierce the gray mundane scale
of the silted sides of the world way up here; and
surface-movers; shakers; no beats
of water, nor air, here; their two-dimensional fixation;
ah, to know length without knowing depth!
and the endless creeping with no dancing
for the deep. how lucky we are. how lucky
high and here for a busy whirl of noise, company, din,
provocation. and yes, it’s an endless racket on
our environs also. whoever said we were uncorrupted?
though, even if they said we were, they’d find a way
to blame themselves again. somewhat saccharine

and pathetic all this self-hating stuff; a sort of smoke signal
to a certain sort of misanthropic virtue: aren’t i the best for realising
i’m a cunt?

birds are slightly

and then there’s all this stuff about us fucking up the world
and we won’t;
we predicted it all before:
The End;
does it happen? meh. probably not.

no. in void unending.
air bending. pulsed quietly
over me.

like in a lab. wind tunnel.

nah, we’ll come through all right in the end.
something will save us.
some nameless hero. or they
had the answers all along…
just had a bit more oil that
needed selling, you know…
sit on the hypersonics and keepthe
car that runs on water
top secret.

can’t have the plebs kicking it
off-grid with portable wind-turbines
in Patagonia quite yet…

not while we’ve got

captive market.