Later he would blame the screens, the way they'd mesmerised him. Not the screens themselves, maybe, not -- no certainly not -- their one-eyed stare straight into his eyes, and not their flicker that might try odd times to grab a brain wave passing by... No, none of these: the culprits were the figures and the way they danced and flounced across the screen, they way their hips would wiggle and their thick lips pout. The way he's think they were the front row of The Windmill or The Follies in their prime. And he in his own private box, could sing:- You can hear the girls declare "He must be a Millionaire." You can hear them sigh and wish to die, You can see them wink the other eye At the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo. Figures of fun: the dollar, yen and pound among them, skeletons seen in the round, seen by one small part of his fantastic mind that put the other parts to sleep, allowed no doubts or caveats. he'd brush them all aside: I'm sticking tails back on the donkeys at a party, he'd protest... but more than that, I'm not completely blindfolded - I sense where donkey is and where he's going next. I have a nose for such things, such I cannot fail.And more than that: the party that I'm at is MINE! Come join! The future's all in futures and derivatives. But thinking pounds had put this in his mind:- His mind had stretched and stretching, had become The World's Sargasso Sea, a calm stretch in a frenzied ocean where bright ships left you this or that in fee. * But it wasn't just for self that he'd forgo all meals, would work all night. He was the posse out to clean the town for all posterity, the Tommy tangled in the barbed wire on The Somme, the hero of his people, out to make his mark. God for John Bull, the Kingdom and this Bank! he'd cry. God for the killing that we'll make! God save The White House, Prince Harry and the Pope! This time it will be different! This time we cannot fail! and so he played another million on an outside chance that cotton would come up again... In fact, he saw it more as knickers coming down, for figures had a sexual charge and mone was orgasmic. As counterweight he payed out twenty thousand grand to say that concrete would be hitting a new low. With Futura has no man a house of good stone Stone cutter is kept from his stone weaver is kept from his loom with FUTURA wool comes not to market FUTURA is a murrain, futura blunteth the needle in the maid's hand and stoppeth the spinner's cunning. Corpses are set to banquet at behest of FUTURA. *** Each time he lost, he laughed it off with all the confidence of one with little evidence. So weak was it in fact that he would laugh again and sing the mantra that was going round the bank: What you see is all there is! Why should he ask for more? Intuitive predictions had got him where he'd been. He would be there again. So if there's nothing in the whole of this,** nothing that is quite my own, still this is me, he told himself. No matter what you're down you double up next time around -- and add a constant for your profit said the small part for his brain, now helplessly intoxicated by thoughts of wealth to come, I only need to get it right the once> Come join me -- and play on! ...........................................................* and ** are (slightly) modified quotes from Ezra Pound's Portrait d'une Femme . *** is a passage from Canto XLV. Here "FUTURA" is my word. Pound's was USURA, from usury, meaning the charging of exorbitant interest.
Written for dVerse Poets: Meeting the Bar for which Anna Montgomery has set us to write on Postmodern (High and Low Art)