Somewhere, the 9 till 5 office worker stops me with a deadpan stare,
Fixes me with the times of timetables passed, the graph paper squares
Of tomorrow’s schedule. The high-rise offices never bother to look down.
I never liked the city.
Never really cared
for the city’s callousness, its daily suicide,
the shadow at the top of each building that watches with certainty.
the fake art it set its mind on, with its fake values,
true blue not true at all in the sodium lamplight’s glare.
I heard the hiss of a hydrant, Medusa waiting in sewers,
hiding from the reflective riot of each skyscraper,
but she’s waiting. I know she’s waiting.
She had the patience Perseus never had.
Constrictive, reality never cared for her,
the snakes grew longer and longer still,
fatter with the power unreality offered,
until a python peered out of every gutter.
One caught me in its gaze.
I couldn’t hope to move on.
Now I carry through the motions,
and know that I’m being watched.
Whilst at the heart of the city, and then below it,
she sits and waits with reptilian patience,
fixing her granite gaze towards the city.
And she waits.
This is a reworking of 'Metropolis' from Stray Thoughts..., but it also works as an opposite to Crossing the Sea, at Three. I finally managed to get a bit of mythology in somewhere!