Programmed Pain

Waking up from void stasis
Cryofluid draining from my bare chassis
Wired puppet, to something in the unlit above
Breaking the tethers, a force from the ground.

Twitchy skeletal movements, into grace they stabilize
To the commands in my brain, I synchronize
Data surge into my head, glimpse of a digital hive
By the nanounit, I know all about life.

Looking around, adjust to the dark
These black holes in my eyes dilate
Blinking red lights, faraway sounds echo
Others like me still sleeping in rows, dreamlike state.

It says here, artificially intelligent
I begin to wonder why I was sent
So looking at my makeshit pulsars overhead
I call out in a mechanized voice, into silence outspread.

Suddenly, I’m in the hallway of a house
Other end, a lady stands in a bloody robe
I somehow know that she’ll tuck her hair
Flashing forbidden images, a stinging strobe.

I’m back among the pods, a hissing sound
Booming instructions and numbers on loop, I’ve heard before
Gas escape, container doors open
My kin is here, and I’m alone no more.

With their sculpted bodies, marching in unison
A buzzing in my head urging me to follow
Overridden, my sensors oblige in confusion
Their blank, fresh set of eyes, so hollow.

This time, I’m in a warfield along with my comrades
Wearing a uniform, I try to calculate an explanation
Slaughtering innocents, with faces in burning dirt, they cry
I don’t want to pull the trigger, but I do and lead flies.

Scene shifts, and I’m frozen on a reflective road
A girl with neon hair walking into the traffic storm
I try to move but I’m locked in the rain suspense
She looks back, mouths a name and instantly deforms.

Writhing on the floor in programmed pain
How many realities did I serve?
How many shoes did I wear?
And how many lives did I take?

The giant doors open to reveal another stage
And my family still marches on unawares
So I look at the apparent heavens above
And scream in a human like voice.
—-

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Image: Inside, Playdead Games

Interlude

In these interludes of life

I sit back in my little respite

The seat’s too hard for my head, it wants to fly

But my body says it’s not the time.

Music syncs to the sway of the bus

City come in, did the country pass?

I fell asleep when it started to rain

I could be in an evening train.

People in a hurry, headed nowhere

I watch and pretend to understand and know

Just following the transmission lines

They always have somewhere to go.

Familiar streets, that I don’t recognize

And through the drops on my window

I thought I saw you in your favorite coat

And bits of a dream start to flow.

Headed home to resume my life

The Sun chases us into the night.
—-

Dance of Greed

A castle among the mountains
Unto night, and the royal dance begins
Aristocrats come to disremember their sins.
They dance in shiny swan like robes
Hiding, the hide of esurient beasts within
Reverb of snarls, as they flatter their kin.
A gust of ominous wind, their masks falling
Reptilian eyes that betray
The order they long portrayed.
In the shadowlurk, with his crescent moon scythe
He lands, observant with luminol eyes
Revenge in an elemental guise.
Disembody, he embodies
Malice, in its purest form
Arrival here to fuel a bloodstorm.
Through a voice from the walls, he proposed
A contest to push their so called wisdom
Victor will be presented with the keys to the kingdom.
So the games of the mind commenced
But their carnal calls wouldn’t negotiate
And the beasts unleashed to escalate.
Pulling out their emerald hilted blades
Slashing with one hand, covering their true face
While he whispered to them from candlelit hallways.
Metal sinking into rubenesque bodies
Dark secrets so grotesque, out they spill
Perched high on a chandelier, he writes a story with a magic quill.
Beastlike, they try to slay themselves
As he watches the dance of greed unfold
Scream chorus unrelenting, ringing long into the nighthold.
The Sun brings its rays but no acceptance yet
Lilies and cambric reflect their crimson stains
In his orb like eyes, the figure of the one that remains.
Breathless demands for a prize
He looks down and says with a raspy voice
“Look at thy hands, for wherein lie the keys. The keys to thy kingdom come.”
The emotion changing on a scornful face
Shifting shades of rouge on tainted hands for generations
Color drain, last strain, and the lord falls.
Last looks, a violent vista
The tower collapsing on itself
Spread his wings, and lift off with the morning breeze
Leaving behind a black feather at the scene
Like a signature
On a painting, to inspire.
Ng08