Once you had to follow television
to understand what to buy in the shops.
Often you forgot; that never happens
with the chips in our brains today.

People read so few books then,
derived strange ideas from them
till we taught technology to transmit
pleasure from paper to brain,

with messages between the lines
that have bestowed peace in our time
(the cigarette wars apart)
and undisturbed profits.

How weird when people
were allowed to write, and think
what they said. So divisive.
Now that’s sorted for us,

we are free to devote ourselves
to higher purchases and the cultivation
of an exemplary buying record
(except the poor Cantonese).

I look to the future, confident
the Board will install God™ in His glory
to suffer the children to work in His fields,
vent His wrath on the underclass

when they’re slow in His factories,
inspire virgins to lend wombs,
like Mary, our loving Mother,
and cut taxes to an all-time low.

Bryan Murphy is a translator who currently lives and works in Turin, Italy. His own words have recently appeared in The Hiss Quarterly, The View From Here, Transparent Words and The Camel Saloon.

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