wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                       Welcome To The Real World  46 of 59 →  HOME     



31.12.99

In the afternoon we pushed through the funfair on the Mall,
went twice on one of the less gravitationally-challenging rides,  

saw a tv personality on a big screen in the sunset in Trafalgar Square
and rode back on the Piccadilly Line for the early evening service at St Mary’s, 

where a few dozen sat quietly to hear the old familiar promises
and shrug off the weight of resolutions unmade or unkept— 

a conspiracy of silence with the shared alibi of being human—
travelling back later for the fireworks with thousands making determined pilgrimage 

and looking for meaning in the rollover of figures,
gazing upwards into the sky 

not at an apocalypse bursting like bombs above Baghdad or Kosovo
but a harmless display, famous for fifteen minutes, visible from outer space  

to catch the eye of any passing god accepting worshippers at this point in time,
while down here each watches from his or her vantage point— 

myidentity@anywhere.com in y2k version 1.0—
as the digital nightmare of the 21st century opens up like a lapdancer:  

on Millennium Eve a planetful of celebrants exiled from one another
search for something which is not found in the image of the couple at Green Park,  

the woman pleading and brushing away tears,
the man’s face immobile, set against the unattainable truth of a century’s high water mark,  

the notion All you need is love
stupid, na´ve in execution if not in concept,  

a cry of hope vanishing in bangs and flashes:
as we escape, the virus of the old century is smuggled in in the bloodstream of the new.