Colony

Sat, Dec 7, 2013, 01:00

The city studies itself incessantly. The city is Narcissus,

its every crevice flickering on a thousand grainy screens.

The machines have entered the language, my love, entered us.

The city is the most tireless of voyeurs. Swivelling, insistent,

its closed-circuit eyes take in Grand Parade and Nash’s Boreen

It self-examines not in pride but fascination, like Narcissus,

as machines drill into words. Tentative at first, then adventurous,

carefree, their cables interface with phrases and phonemes.

The machines have entered the language, my love, entered us,

entered our eyes and our ventricles. The devices we fitted

regulate humour, blood-flow, spleen. We respond as in a dream,

like the city hypnotised by its own brilliance. The city is Narcissus,

the lake-water, his reflection becoming sadder and more sensuous

as it stares back at him. The city stares into a neon ocean of machines,

the machines that have entered the language, my love, entered us.

We are their colonies. They visit us. They cherish and exist in us.

The city wants to show you what its thousand eyes have seen.

Its fascinated gaze examines you because it is Narcissus.

The machines have entered the language, my love, entered us.

Billy Ramsell holds the Chair of Ireland Bursary for 2013. His second collection, The Architect’s Dream of Winter, is out this month from Dedalus Press.