I can no longer listen when the music plays,
but shuffle, pause, piss, and then resume.
Nothing’s ever missed, and nothing heard or seen.
The glistening screen commands my gaze
and all I do is consume, consume, consume—
until the stomach presses on the spleen.

A lit fuse, dumb trouble, fickle need;
the news comes double, triple speed.
This song is neither dance nor dirge—
it’s always new; it’s on repeat.
Is it purple romance, or lasting urge?
A final surge before the fast defeat?

Like a lover studying my Tiks and Toks—
you are always, always, listening.
Offering an endless stream of bliss, then sting;
you serve heaven with a side of clits and cocks.
How long can the flower feed upon the flower?
In your Ever-Summer there’s never rain, nor dirt?
I’ve cut out my eyes to rent them by the hour
but I cannot feel it; it really doesn’t hurt.

You know everything I’ve ever asked for
and bind yourself to me with every click you track;
recording every keystroke, word and sin—
my thoughts themselves— and burdens within.
You would tie me to a chair and feed me more,
and I would not refuse. You chain me to the rack,
link by glowing link, and stretch me thin.
Like and subscribe to tear me limb from limb.

I’m under no compulsion; there are no fetters;
I could rise at will from this hated seat,
but I pawned my attention for a laugh
and a bowl of red stew has made me a debtor.
Don’t even Prodigals deserve another treat?
Where is the father, and who the fattened calf?

A vain princeling, who never will be crowned,
I climb the altar pretending it’s a throne
to offer myself afresh, a lamb untied.
I’m a willing Isaac; I’m Prometheus unbound,
returning daily to the blood soaked stone
bearing the firewood with a vulture at my side.

“So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless. We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of growing on good rain and black loam. Even fireworks, for all their prettiness, come from chemistry of the earth. Yet somehow we can grow, feeding on flowers and fireworks, without completing the cycle back to reality.”

–Ray Bradbury