by one lonely image reflected
in the glass over rigid smiling faces,
barely familiar as the photo shop frame
parts for exhumation of parentage buried
deep in time-warped soil of thought suppression,
erupting unseen by this vital conceit of free choice
to replay again the ancient unconscious drama,
compulsive re-enacted rules of common procedure,
discipline, rage, penalty - and vague regret,
covert lessons to that natal trembling plasmogel
of childish mind and body's dumb adoration of power,
awaiting instructions from absolute trust betrayed
in the amateur god and his wayward demi-goddess,
enduring their repeated stimula-tranquil absences
by starving on scraps of guilt-edged loving council
only for growing an impetuous mode of escape
to full-circling ideo-realms of capitalized equality
harshly imposed on distant collective nobodies
serving the bureau somebodies to ignore everybody's
rote recital of state-commanded unworkable truth,
now void of meaning to all but drab memory ghosts
haunting an elderly neo-democratic citizen
who at last pieces together a universal answer
that fear and desire keep us snared, entangled
and twisted into each institutional formula
for the cold, hard success of commercial credit,
in debt to the laws of eat or be eaten,
suggesting no answer exists for all
entrapped in their physical being.

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John Talbot Ross