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A Hundred Gourds 5:3 June 2016

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Peter Butler – UK


One Day in the City


a brunette
left at the turnstile
half a wave

He heads briskly southward down the escalator, ignoring the film, theatre, tourist ads, through the hall. . .

guitarist struggling
one string missing
a few copper coins

young violinist
performing her scales
notes among the silver

. . . To a train full of nondescripts, six stops, then rising to the smell of the City and another day, another deal or several, rarely pausing from the phone for coffee, a served sandwich. From a top floor office, staring occasionally at robots below, marching in and out of streets and stations, probably to nowhere very important. By evening, deals profitably closed, back to the station, emerging after three stops, through the hall...

. . . Heading briskly northward up the escalator, ignoring the financial, insurance and health ads., for a different kind of deal.

a blonde
waiting at the turnstile
her plastic smile


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