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The Author Is Dead

Juliano Zaffino - The Author Is Dead - Blog

Oxford III: Speed Camera / Atomic Bomb / The Red Shoes

Juliano Zaffino

'Squareheaded Simpson'.

'Squareheaded Simpson'.


Speed Camera

I see you,

In that split-second moment as we pass,

Moments before you fill my rearview

With your iridescent flash, my heart

With pounding, in the very same moment

That you see me.


You have always seen me,

I remember as I drive away,

A probe like a middle-eastern drone

Wreaking havoc on civilians,

Innocence impossible to glimpse

Mechanically, in the black and white

Moment of a moment

That you see me, infrared.


I’ve seen you before,

And I’ve always stayed anonymous,

A shadow born and raised

In the paranoid state

Of post-Homeland, post-Snowden,

You didn’t know then that

Such slow speed was still fleeing,

Me from you, non-government

With a yellow face and character,

Squareheaded Simpson nightmare

That has me when it sees me.


We all see you,

Fear you or revere you

Or deceive you with what you want

From us, obedience in the shape

Of a red-circle obscured

Behind trees that you planted,

Synoptic Eye – you see me

But I know you.




Atomic Bomb


All of my emotions felt atomic.


Every fibre, heavy

Like when it rains on your favourite

Jumper, soggy and drenched all over,

Colour-changed slightly,

Feeling like two coats, the inner one is a glacier.


Chemical and physical.

Laws of nature. How many scientists does it take?

Bad jokes that would make another me laugh, crack up

At the punchline as if it walloped me personally.


My toes stiffen, cold and tired and the very ends of my hair

Seem to groan like creaky hinges in the pre-winter wind.

Footsteps echo from three years ago as I walk,

Same place,

Same weight,

Same fate. Trifecta of triumphs that might have been

If 'same' was not a substitute for everything mundane

Or purely painful. Pointless?


In my hands like arthritis, seizing, a spectre of the fear

The former author had, who lies in wait somewhere

Beneath the core of my "soul", buried by obituaries he wrote

Not on purpose, sealing the lid on the coffin of his "talent";

Us. The both of us and all

The other mes lying in or under,

Taking up space, making up weight to hold us down

As one flesh, a mind in desperate need of rest that's

Seeing double multiplied, fiddling

With a Rubix Tetrahedron to the point of

Distraction til it can't get off the couch without crying.

I'm watching it, I recognise something...

We're lying here. Waiting.




The Red Shoes

As I listen to Her sing you dance past me,

Narcissus of the ballroom, red Nike shoes

Flashing like a beacon, a signal

Of you and your possibilities,

A dance for two that would free me,

Enrapt and trapped in an ugly embrace

With you.

If Shuffle had dealt a different card,

Held out the first bars

Of King Of The Mountain

I would see a sign anyway, a roadsign

Commonplace and biblical, stop and yield

And one way, then in the streets

I would fall to my knees and sing along

To a variation of your red-shoed footstep's

Pavement-pounding song, worshipping you.

I can't stop worshipping You. I am saved.