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I woke up on the sofa again
Dream-weight bearing past traumas
Looking ever backwards
Gauping at my own flaws.

I woke up on the sofa again,
Etchings of past misdemeanours
Losing purchase on the walls
And floating around the room.

I woke up in a frenzy
To remove the LED haze,
Whatever it was I was doing
Was now done yesterday.

I woke up delirious,
Not knowing who I was
For everything that I had been
Had now been repossessed.

It's a funny thing realising
That part of you is gone
And waking up on the sofa
With a need to hurry on.

I woke up on the sofa again
With a sense of worthlessness,
Reflecting on the regularity
Of my boundaries being crossed.

I woke up on the sofa again
And slowly trudged to bed
Like an extra in the background,
A dream that's died a death.

When I awoke I realised
The misdemeanours were lesser,
I wondered through the streets
And saw not one single transgressor.

I stopped a couple in the store
Who talked about their summer,
And saw a woman with her dog
Admiring a passing runner.

As the polyester jackets floated past
And shoes scuffed the fallen canopy,
I saw that movement made people happy,
That the sofa was no place for me.
Separated by progress
We live in isolation
Socially stagnated
Growing ever distant.

Focus further inward
Without hesitation,
Cutting off future conflicts
Before they even happen.

Perspective and reality
No longer separate
Eco chamber catalysts
Shattered-faction fragment.

Elitist tactics brainwash
Entire populations,
Localised abundance withers
With dying vegetation.

Doomsday clocks lurching
Our salvation diverges
Shouting to the twilight sun
We share but false elation.

Entire regions' designated
Means of production
No new doctrines allowed
All hail consumption.

Ever directionless, at a loss
Regressing into violence:
Revolutionaries' proudest
Of our failed revolutions.

Living out our dreams
Of solitary bliss,
Live alone in harmony
Or die in the abyss.

What piece of work is man
That chooses inhumanity
A species in a chasm
Led by mere savages.
"And in time there will come a generation that has got beyond facts, beyond impressions, a generation absolutely colourless, a generation seraphically free from taint of personality"
― E.M. Forster, The Machine Stops
  Oct 2020 Tim Zac Hollingsworth
I've always preferred finding out what time it was by looking at the watches of strangers,
Preferably on a morning carriage where the forgotten time difference from fading holidays meet the eternally shaken bracelets
Strangers, on their way to an oversized office smelling like old tea and leftover birthday cake.

My eyes, moving from one being to the next,
wondering if they woke up in their own bed.
Disparate attires or obedient consumerism, smells of cologne and *****, unironed shirts and loose ties,
Remains of a night too quickly ended or of a morning that started off wrong.
Strangers, burning the courage to face the dread of small talk talk and mindless tasks.

A half hour turnover of faces, smells and stories,
Strangers, unknowingly sharing their lives with me.
We fall in love with looks exchanged
Though some say it's not really love
We fall in love with peoples voices
Forgetting their other traits.

In every grey cityscape,
In every tired estate
Love triumphs quietly
Above decibels of hate.

In every steel Metropolis
Drowning in inequality,
Exists temporal understanding
Between wealth and poverty.

The weary travellers too,
Worn down by years of routine
Smile behind closed doors,
Raging with the chemical joy.

The eyes which glow back at us
Engulf us in molecular adoration,
Like fires catching from kindleling
Melting the rough corners of our day.

Life can make fools of all of us,
But to be fooled is to live.
No masterpiece was crafted
Without painful risk.

And how I came to know
Your glare was meant for mine?
The pains I feel from inequality
Become more secondary.

Just seconds of your laughter
Sweep years of cortisol away.
Overiding the purpose of my soul
For those profound moments of the day.

The joyous glowing of your eyes
Craft a neuro-masterpiece,
As equal measures of dopamine,
And oxytocin ignite my zelous glare.

That glowing behind your eyes
Tells me, it's your soul and mine.
That acceptance of ourselves as fools
In love, is the only escapism I need.
For every weary traveller
Slumped back in their chair
There will always be one or two
Alight with zealous glare.
Black stone juts out over greying ice,
A mass of alpine greenery,
Half bare, half masked in white;
The motion of a turner painting,
Colours cast through Lowry's eyes.

Camouflaged upon a riverside
With no sign of Lutheran ambition,
As faith faltered, medieval to Christ,
A small church modestly mirages,
Casting simplicity into Nordic pride.

The excitement of the northern lights
Over the precipice of these continents,
American and Eurasian plates collide.
The Langjökull Glacier screams
Witnessing its own untimely demise.

The remoteness captured in the landscape
Starkly contrasts to us who bear witness to it
And in the mirroring of the landscape
A lonely civil dwelling knows nothing
Of war between nature and humankind.
Artificial city-dwellers
Discard all humanity
Carbon fired tin cans
Pierce the serenity.

Anonymous collisions
Fifty floors below
Each passer by a stranger
You will never know.

Pedestrians, travellers
And their vehicles
Droplets in a river,
Altering the tidal flow.

Irrigation passages
Absorb the elements
Hedge fund panellists,
Bankers and workers flee.

Eye rolling baby boomers
Sit, tutting one by one.
Nervous millennials adorned
In clothes for moths to eat.

Breaking point carriages
Century old tunnelling
A lone foot tapping
And quiet page turning.

Brakes hit the track
Piercing the murmur
Eighty jarred necks
External motion blur.

Sliding carriage doors
A not-so-subtle beep
Dust kicked from dawn
Falls onto the city streets.

Blue tower inhabitants
Busting out of the seams
Water molecules collide
But nothing sinks the fleet.

Smartly suited eye-darters
Push and pull for space
Rolling up the banks
Humanity erased again.

I settle on the brickwork
Until the storm retreats
Circadian commuters
Run to rest their feet.

A few lonely meanders remain
Wondering down the beach
Forlorn festivies fog over
Swinging shop-signs squeak.  

As the lighting rig descends
And once blue ceiling stains
The beige brickwork turns red
The high tide admits defeat.

Pink light turns to navy blue
A faint moonbeam lights the sky
Obscured by one cloud then a few
Vague incandescence frames the scene.

The streetlights flicker overhead
One worn out passenger now leaves
Shrouded, cold, hungry and fulfilled;
Abandonment for some is peace.
Kenopsia: The amosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned - a school hallway in the evening, an unlit office on a weekend, an eerie cityscape - making it seem hyper-empty, with a total population in the negative, so conspicuously absent they glow like neon signs.
As wires round the world get lighter and thinner
Your news scroll feeds you various homicides,
From desktops at noon to plasma at dinner,
The auto-cue scrolls through this week’s most viral.

The network fail to mention the other seven billion
Who kept living their life devoid of such sinning.
Disquiet on your perch, picture your pleasure:
Hopping alone, around your enclosure.

The window slides up, wind ruffles your feathers.
Beak to the bars, you're helplessly tethered.
Yell 'til you're heard, ’til you’re hoarse and unkempt,
Yell 'til the neighbours are mad and hell bent.

Step back to your pedestal, tapping your feet,
The rhythm you summon traverses the streets.
Nearby inhabitants sit watching their screens,
Warn-out, occupied, unfulfilling their dreams.

Tip-tap-a-tip-tap-a-tip-tap away the evening and next day.
Now you live vicariously through social media,
You cannot stop tweeting, lonelier… lonelier.
Connections you make get quicker and quicker.

‘Life is the greatest’ upon appearances,
You pick and you carve a residual image;
The best fools fool themselves into submission,
Post exponentially, build on your rhythm;

Second life, third face, prosodic yet speechless,
Your diary now echoes, empty and featureless.
Stare at your screen, silent and grinning;
Hive mind rewired, this story needs spinning.

Forget losing face, that farcical demeanour.
The needle wobbles on your false life fever,
As sunlight exposes where your cage is broken,
The tether is loose but you're past noticing.

Shared knowledge free of charge, constantly flowing,
Ignore others' viewpoints, or pleas to come in.
The glass in the window is brilliantly glowing,
There's fire outside that your posts have been stoking.

White noise, connection lost, you're no longer hosting
That multi-channel, fibre-optic, bandwidth expansion.
Untether your Ethernet, the cage disappears
Find sanctuary outdoors when quiet is near.

The caged bird tweets devoid of all reason,
Fooling itself about its own lack of freedom.
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