To a Hive

You who celebrate bytes, 

Who have exposed the overbalance, 

the surmises of racisms, 

the lifestyle that has exhibited itself, 

Who have treated of mandate as the creek of poltergeist, 

agreements – cabbages and primroses, 

Pressing the punchball of the lifestyle that has seldom exhibited itself, 

(the great primer of mandate in himself,) 

Chanter of Palo Alto, outlining what is yet to be, 

I prologue the hoard of the gadget.

-Job

(Oulipo based on Whitman: To a Historian)

Prophecy

Eight hours from now

Life’s simple

pleasures will be

denied.

The mob will rule

The mind police sanction.

Pity the poor

Man who strays from

the designated path.

Eight days from now

We will greet friends by

ignoring them

condemn opponents for

Their secret thoughts

In our new reality.

Eight weeks from now.

The repeated gesture,

the quiet pause,

the attentive and,

encouraging nod,

the gracious thank-you,

and the measured response

Will be banned.

The willingness to stop and breathe

The desire to put the pressing

task aside and help.

That too will be

Gone.

– Job

The Spy Who Taught Me

INT. MOSCOW UNIVERSITY LECTURE HALL. 1980. DAY. 

LIONEL STEELE (35) stands at the top of his class. He is plain looking, chubby and shabbily dressed. It is a classroom of Russian students. They stare at him, waiting for him to begin the MATHEMATICS lecture. Time passes slowly. LIONEL is frozen. He has forgotten what to say. An attractive young woman at the front raises her hand. She smiles. She knows she is beautiful. 

LIONEL

Sorry. What’s your question? 

WOMAN

Are you a British spy?

LIONEL (obviously flustered)

Sorry?

WOMAN

We’ve all been wondering, are you a spy? You remind us of Mister James Bond. 

(The class laughs.)

LIONEL (Trying to distract. He can’t believe he’s been found out so quickly)

What’s your name?

WOMAN

My name is Alyona. (She flicks her long dark hair over her shoulder)

LIONEL

No Alyona. I am not a spy. Not everyone from the West is here to spy on Mother Russia. My wife and son are Russian. 

ALYONA

I suppose we’ll have to take your word for it. But we’re watching you. 

(She smiles showing shark like teeth) 

LIONEL

OK. Let’s start with some simple algebraic equations…

                        LIONEL STEELE WILL RETURN…                              

                                                    

Rhyme Royal

The teacher’s voice was very droll

She was a cruel cynic.

Students called her Miss Troll

She was so unhygienic.

But none saw her mental clinic

And never knew her fate

That day she realized Miss was a fake.

-Job

 

Terza Rima

Human psyche is obviously odd

A daily secret stock exchange

Each wearing  a mask to hide his fraud.

 

But dirty dogs are prone to mange

Healthy, honest minds being so rare

Don’t neglect annual oil change!

 

Therefore most prefer noise, shout, blare

Drowning self in some shiny chic

Diving into a glossy snare

Buying their lies from a boutique.

-Job

Our imagined India. 

Noise,

Tigers, 

Tikka 

and Marigold hotels, 

Full of jolly old people outstaying their lives.

Yoga,

Gurus, 

Sitars 

and slums. 

Sometimes crowded call centres. 

Always poor. 

Never 

slick suits

Or Mercedes C-Class. 

Job