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This poem is taken from PN Review 235, Volume 43 Number 5, May - June 2017.

Secular Games Alex Wylie
‘Experience consists in experiencing what we do not wish to experience’ SIGMUND FREUD, Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious

1.
Reading Freud’s book on joke technique
I hear an advert for the latest Audi
on the TV – Vorsprung durch Technik
followed by the weather. A cold front, cloudy.
Expect the tick-tock-tick-tock
of drizzle any second now. Get ready.

Get set, for the endless race of traffic
to drown out in the wash… The mobile purrs
with messages, news, garishly graphic
as a post-traumatic toddler’s crayon pictures.
There is a horror which is unhorrific
and, as they say, it never rains but pours.

I found a thing about experience –
how people keep on coming back like addicts,
despite the obvious appearance
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