By James Bradley

Artificial Intelligence
Of riot police—their padded limbs
Tangled tightly in a black veil
Of plastic & synthetic fire

Breastplates of jacinth, brimstone
And triangulating ‘chips
Capable of locating each
Secret, inevitable thread

Of subliminal contrition
Within a heterodox tract hid,
Their rods of absolution
Humming a simple melody

For scores of black boots to dance to
In steady lockstep, in rhythm,
Thus is the countryside trampled
From Charleville to gay Paris
The dirty-faced farmers are all
Self-erected memorials
Before a hand-painted backdrop
Of non-existence & wheat stalks

Barefoot, the poet walks along
The provincial lanes by day,
And by night sleeps curled within
One such black boot’s footprint

In the series left in the wake
Of the boys with plastic faces,
The rhythm of […]