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Puppet Shows of the Powers That Be.

You speak to them
as if they were children.
Tell your lullabies
so they can sleep at night.

Sanitized facts sometimes
stand a chance
in this otherwise false reality
you craft for them,
though your preference
is to build it
from the ground up
with boldfaced lies.

Treat conversation
with them as if they were a
mine field of unpredictability,
fragile with explosive
tendencies and steer
clear of that childish, animal reaction, guiding
them softly, gently, masterfully,
dead into the calm.

Every instrument
deserves a musician.

So you play your desired notes
in a standardized,
formulaic style,
as if plucking an elaborate web
of stimulus-responses
in such a clinical fashion,
as if subliminally programming
fleshy robots, meat machines
wrapped in thin skin-shells.

No sign of the ghost.

You learn by watching
them, studying them,
mapping out triggers, breaking
the code, know the language,
have the desired reactions
all available
to you at the push
of a button,
at the mercy
of your trigger-finger.

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