‘This is the night e-mail’

Night E-mail (and other communications)

A quick riffing, loosely on Auden’s immemorial ‘Night Mail’. What poet can bear to be badly mimicked for an age of digital communications that disembodies virtually everything?


Apotheosized in obituary
One line long-
Enter is pressed
and from the wane of hays and hovels
Heath’s white Cliffs to Hitchin High Street and
It is readable

Even at the train station-
where no mile after mile
of actual letters

Neutralised from Norwich
to Northumberland
Quotes of thanks, foreclosure threats
from banks

All traditions survive, swallowed whole by the edifice
The gradient’s fine, though it’ll be carved up
and contoured in time.

Tweets for the rich and for the poor
Novelty and the file-sharing police
are splintering away at
the door.
Statuses circumstantial, (comments tangential)
Like, emails with holiday snaps attached in
Trackpads to enlarge and vulgarly scrawl the margins

Slinging the laptop over your shoulder
Snorting nosily over the tablet holder
Browser theme-
of every hue
the pink, the violet and the one about myth-ed Wu Tao-tzu
That nobody gets.

Thousands are still asleep
Millions more are awake

Out you go
Out the door.

Who can bare to feel herself untagged and unmentioned?


Life’s a Gas (This is Inert)

It’s noble
Like Argon, Life’s a Gas and we’re inert
A creative Hindenburg, I asked you to combust
To Inflame me
Overstimulated with your hydrogenous,
androgynous smile
The one I would come revile
I exploded
Disfigured and unsightly
Naked as I was

Your disquieting muse
Walking and Smoking
Stagnant Filaments and fuses have smoked
Lights out and you’re disquieted
I failed to adhere to the rules, rules, rules

As T-Rex said “it doesn’t matter at all. Life’s a Gas”