I’d like to live without
The invisible machines in my head:
The constantly ticking clock,
The dynamo that burns my midnight oil,
The tape recorder that memorises the words,
Etching them with acid on my soul,
The bullshit monitor that scrutinises
Each and every belief and assumption
And says, with a sneer, oh yeah?
Just who are you trying to kid?
It would be nice to live simply,
Without my own voice asking constantly,
Why, what, where, when, who, how,
How many? For how long? What colour?
The clock is the worst:
Counting down to zero hour,
Never telling me anything
But the passing of time and life.
If you take away these infernal machines,
What would be left?
Would the real me crouch in a corner,
Cowering in the stripped engine room,
Naked and dirty, pathetic and small?
Or is the real me the very machines
That are driving me crazy?
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick,
Whirr, clatter, whirr, clatter,
Pitter, patter, pitter, patter.
Are they footsteps I hear,
Creeping up on me?
Is there someone there,
Or am I really alone in here?
by Vivienne Tuffnell