Reading Detective Novels in the Surveillance State

by | Jun 7, 2022 | Fiction, Issue Twenty Seven

We will investigate each blade of grass or make it citizen to Our will. Each fellow robin a cousined detective. Our charge imperious and punishment in excess for each discrete individual worm in offense of any number of indexed and articulated and coded and justly formulated laws. For protection We extend draconian umber shadows over each meager burrow. Our control total. No need for panic or think. Assurance doctrine designed Our panoptic heads to surveil with cocked-eyes and lined them in technologies of coalsmudged microplumage that pulls in light and sucks in any sign of dissident gleam peeking out from the enclosed safety of heathen earthen abodes. We siphon each pitiful peasant, willful and wriggling from the individuality of their homes, if decency codes permit and issue warrant (they will). Never to be undifferentiated while connected as one glossy category under Our one gaze. We Are A Complete Circuitry. A fulfilled dream.

Is not metaphor a miniature scene of a bridge? Imagine each cobbled stone magnified and hovering softly over silent and clear-running water. Its clarity is plunging into unbeing, so to see it, let us say it is made instead from the luster of toothpaste, the sparkly kind a child may layer in a shoebox diorama and exclaim, “look, a river!” This, too, has a brisk running and is endlessly deep. How cold it must be. How deadly freezing this close to Nothing. Each trickle past the anklebone feels familiar, but unique. Each step (if one dare take it) is never the same river; never the same serif I of shinbone dipped. Why are we now down here wet under the bridge again? We know the story about what happens in (and to) undersides and you may not be able to climb yourself out of this abyss We penned you in. Do not forget: you are prey and under Our inspection. We hear this toll for you, then: build the ladder back up to the bridge, though you will not know how or what or why to build and the climbing will instruct you with the echo of its construction.

Alas, now the bridge has burned itself during your ascent and the stream below it polluted. You choose how it went: the fact of the event does not matter as much as the evident. While gathering poppies on the bank of decision as evidence against your indictment, you missed Cause trotting off with Effect. They had, dancing, looted the dead who not yet haunt the half-moon suspension of sky between flow and keystone. It smolders. Still are there crossings. Did you think you were the only pilgrim? God’s eye has been on We robins.

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