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Ashley Chapman Oct 2017
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.
This comes from my fascination with Philip K. **** and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. In this, his future dystopian vision, androids are retired, a euphemism for terminated, when they have passed their legal age limit after four years. Humans, us, have by now ruined our environment and become enthralled to a false religion, Mercerism , a fabricated make belief, spun by an actor, Al Jerry. The empathy boxes plunge the followers of Mercerism into a shared virtual hallucination. I was also enthralled by Jude Law in AI by Steven Spielberg who gave what I thought was a mesmerising portrait of a *** robot, the ultimate Lothario and so tragically programmed to flaw.

Earlier this year Mercerism was the theme of The Tunnel, an art collective to which I am a participator, through poetry.

Blade Runner, the film, now Blade Runner 49, is based on this dark interpretation of where we could all be headed.

— The End —