Contrived Collective Unconsciousness
(after the sonnet style of Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin)

Sounds pour out of holes in faces,
mouths or nostrils matters not,
leaving on the mind no traces
of what could be called a “thought.”
Noises like “disinformation”
mean to rule out cogitation:
can’t have proles informed. No way!
Thinking workers wouldn’t pay.
So we’re fed word-salad dressing:
flavor rancid to the tongue;
odor like semantic dung.
Hopeless chance of them confessing
who mean nothing when they speak:
shameless chutzpah; bloody cheek.

Orthographic spell-marks: “writing,”
transcribe noises for the eye.
Vacant stares at ink-stains blighting
paper for which trees must die.
Winston Wordsmith, CorpGov Dumbo,
Ministry of Mumbo-Jumbo,
shapes the “Narrative” each day.
Sees a truth? This he will slay.
What was past begins tomorrow.
First, instructions filter down.
Then, the scribes of Pundit Town
race to either steal or borrow
any chance to punish reason.
Thoughtcrime -- always open season.

Shadows striking poses, dancing
on the wall of Plato’s Cave.
Abstract “concepts” barely glancing
off the mind -- from crib to grave.
Images alone, together,
beamed at us; no if or whether
any can critique our scene:
each cell phone a Telescreen.
Product-placement, cheap romances,
propaganda news: our "choice."
Networks tracking face and voice.
Technological advances?
Streaming series episodes;
"citizens" as QR codes.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2023