The tower drew him from his reverie.
He felt its dark shadow reaching for him
across the city, painting the worry
that furrowed his brow with darkness. The slim
stillness cut through to something within him
something wordless, known, but empty, alone.
He stood and left his room, feeling the pull
of the tower’s certainty until he stood
at its base by the blue vandalised door.
There, an angry omnipotence declared
its dogmas – ‘GS is fucking OR’,
’Jane loves Dick’ – he shuddered but only stared
helplessly at his own timidity.
He pushed the door which creaked and moaned open
and stepped into the darkness. The city
became mute. He breathed the stale air and then
began to climb the bronze rusted staircase
that clung to the tower’s rim on its dank
cobwebbed brickwork. A cold wind brushed his face
and his steps clanged and echoed. The air stank.
H ehsivered as he rose through memories,
blurred, ill formed, recreated by the lies
he no longer noticed. He reached the top
and looked out, shocked by the lure of the drop.
The city in its barrenness twinkled
mechanically, cleared of the personal
a wilderness, all pock marked and wrinkled.
Here at the top, he stood apart. Only
rough man-handled and machine shapes
surrounded him and the air was cold steel.
Below were cubes and corners, a grid cast
over the land as far as he could see.
It was in its own way magnificent –
the walls of the tower allowed for no doubt.
The ruins in the desert forgotten,
dismissed as poetic sentiment,
charming but unfit for reality.
Realitty was things, it was power,
it was competition and selfishness,
it was corners and concrete, dirt, data,
dominance. He stood here on the tower
as the student faced tanks with his shopping.
Above it all he cringed in the sharp wind.
Yet he continued to look down, seeing
in the geometry, movement, disorder,
the stumbling efforts of man to progress.
It was as if the sap rose towards him,
a pulse touching him through the machine grid,
and he opened his arms to soak it in
and flew, with all life in his embrace.