Creative Writing, Venue

Silkworm Kingdom

Upward bound our eyes extend the polished vertical rivers, their blue plates divided in slim steel grids. They throb and pulsate in muted ecstasy, punching the skies with flat fists as they draw from the black tarmac veins of the city their green blood, richly injected by the steroids of commerce. Upon the wild tides of wealth ride the silk monarchs in their Bentley galleons, men of no name, unspeaking within a faceless collective – – ominous, oblivious, they impress upon the earth the deep treads of exquisite shoes of godly manufacture.
Of short stature yet deceptively vast, these counterfeit Zodiacs reign with easy dominance cradling the sword of a John Steed umbrella and the shield of a Gucci briefcase. That is their armour, and oh how it shines! They are the crowns of economy emerging from their meadows of silver, gleamingly flawless and resplendent in the pace afforded to those of unquestioned supremacy. Never are they seen running or in haste, never is the glowing pink skin seen to perspire; for when one owns the world, why hurry to exploit it? It is a possession to be savoured, solely.
As they retire, unmissed, to their rectangular citadels the blacksuit beasts of the city resume their habitual invisibility and prepare to plague unto those below the gales of ruin. Like wind their deadly influence is unseen but is surely felt, cold and devastatingly concrete: the breathless crack of tax, the whistling plummet of wage… and heard above this storm is the dissolved tinkle of crystal, the chattering cheers of champagne flutes brought together in the celebratory dancing of sky kings drunk on the splendour of their domination.

If only we had taller been, to see the soles of our oppressors before they crushed us – but alas we see only a vertical highway of glass piercing the heavens we had long ago lost sight of. The glass illustrates our plight, offering glossy reproductions of our gaunt sallow selves standing before the tiered blocks of the world from which we have ventured. Clothed in the burnt brown shades of our poverty, we carry on our shoulders the stain of deficiency, the want of much and the access to little.
Yet we breath clearly air purified of vice. Our backs bear no stab-wounds, our hands are cleansed of blood, and we have cut no throats. United in our destitution we are rich in dignity, and for that are we distinct from the asthmatic wolves of the city, choking on the embers of their greenback cigars.
At what cost is one willing to accept cancer, of the mind and of the lung? The beasts cannot speak, for their dollars and dimes have stolen from them their health, and from them have the pennies and pounds stolen their tongues. They have been scorched by the excesses of their supremacy.
And in the towers do the false gods reign.


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November 2021
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