“Drug Awareness Day” by David Barber

Forget de Quincey transfixed in dens of opium by serpents
of blue smoke rising, or the little Liberty Cap mushroom which
witches flying high on magic ate,

this is the future. Gödel, first of the semiotic drugs, a neurofix
by MIT postgrads made grantless by the Crash. A scope
pressed to the eye delivers code

that hacks the brain’s reality routines. A brief nirvana whiteout.
They say Zen-like flashbacks of indifference ruined
a generation of Wall Street traders.

Sisyphus 2.0 is the code of choice for wage-slaves, gilding their chains,
making tedium exquisite. Blame churches grabbing their market share
for scoping Godhead into TV ads.

Behind rose lids danced angels, real as the road to Damascus
they argued at the scopes trial. Caveat fidelis. Brand loyalty
like martyrs to the flames,

now all beers but Bud will taste like piss, the code insists.
So remember kids, keep those filters set to safe, and Beware
the sudden urge to stare.

After lunch there will be sessions on Weapons of Mass Belief.
Anyone who thinks they aren’t affected by these issues
should call the Deprogram Helpline.


David Barber lives anonymously in the UK. His ambition is to continue doing all of these things.

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