by Sam Rasnake

         \ sər-ˈvā-lən(t)s also -ˈvāl-yən(t)s or -ˈvā-ən(t)s\     

        Noun: the act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent or detect a crime; close watch kept over someone or something

        Origin: French, from surveiller to watch over, from sur- + veiller to watch, from Old French veillier, from Latin vigilare, from vigil watchful — 

         First Known Use: 1802

                                                — Merriam-Webster


This is the how to: an end of starting the middle with all pleasures [or

here you may want to insert your own dynamic] pleasures made real as

in fragments of faces in smears of time, in a river of lights, both white

and red, in the dark whir of highways. That is all you'll need to give

over your irresistible life to the wish and grind [feel free to insert

music as soundtrack, maybe “Feeling so Real” or “Long Snake

Moan”]. Someone always knows.  Someone watches your doings

and undoings [taking notes, naming names, knocking down doors,

shooting photos through zoom lenses to animate the whatever into

stacks of evidence for crimes yet to be determined]. The camera

is unconcerned with any difference between doesn't care your ups

or downs, your gift among thieves and any wherewithal or hitherto

of a night gone voyeurThen, there is the look — as if to name it is

self-gratification of the hidden kind, or — if learning is your bent —

to call it truth in language meant to save you/us, meant to give us/you

anything but believing [and this is what you write once you realize

you're repeating yourself] believing in an archive [one that's kept

in some immaculate and fool-proof safe — such an improbability given

the fact we're all fools wearing our techo-motleys of a tweet here &

a post there or a face time as substitute for flesh (but where was I?

Oh yes) — fool-proof safe in some underground bunker — expansive,

windowless, and climate-controlled — maintained by as many pocket-

protectors as Big Brother Big Sister requires] knowing all the while

that anything but truth will do. One eye watches — “We see you,”

it says — while the other sleeps, and we're happy, or think ourselves

to be, so we keep watching, we keep breathing — mmmmmm — and

the highways whir until we stop ourselves from stopping, as in

snakes — eating our own tails — no hands, no legs, like nesting dolls —

down to a single silence — our only dream for change.


                                              — after Surveillance by Julie Dunham

     originally published in Lost in Thought