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Collateral espionage

I was walking the dog
I was buying some milk
I was saying this
I was making a joke
I was thinking
I’ve been overheard before

Now it seems
I’ve been turned
into knowledge

We have all been turned
into knowledge

There’s someone somewhere
beyond that road junction
which cicatrices the boondocks
in a polished geodesic bubble
on a glacial estate
it’s their job
in a digital enterprise zone

At the sheer face of a terminal
they'll be shuffling codes and commentary

‘I bought some milk’

If only someone had told me
I’d have said some other stuff

“There is much that we want
and need from the West
but there is one thing which I do not want:
carelessness with people.”

‘A spectre is haunting Europe’

If only someone had told me
I might have cited examples
I might have named names

As it is, I think
that all they’ve got on me
is ‘I walked the dog’

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips is a poet, playwright and journalist based in Bristol, UK. His first full-length poetry collection Recreation Ground was published by Two Rivers Press in 2012 and was described in London Magazine as ‘work of the highest order’. Tom’s poetry has appeared in anthologies such as 100 Poets Against The War and Short Fuse, as well as in various magazines and the pamphlets Reversing into the Cold War and Burning Omaha. His plays include Prella’s Gift, Man Diving and I Went To Albania.


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