Antigone on the Phone

In the cave, Antigone watches

the projections, texts:

she has the wrong kind of kin


death arrives by phone

miscarriage told by text

Brexit broke by notification

our backs bending to liquid crystals

lapped & cradled by groins

our necks extending & crunching

unburied shame


Antigone’s blue face a screen

for my desires inchoate

the kings care not for brothers/

family, generations on boats

today / twenty / sixty years ago

the kings are killers & long

we have known this &

still they remain


pocket-sized vaults of rare earths

dropped through the fingers

smashed on the cobbles

bosses at the BL vs. Prospect

a new front for fiction

as ‘girls have complete meltdowns’

when gold silver palladium are

lockered to enforce the work ethic


when you came off lithium

the insects streamed from your eyes

they’re in my head

we watched wildlife programmes

on repeat – the fantasy of life

screened for clicks

Insta for the animals

but no one voted


Sophocles, ever the sage

had so many messages

structured for a drama

static, familial, brutal

a phone, a phone

full of the unread & oft said


he killed himself

left you in London

with a ticket stub

top of the bus & everyone

finds out Amy’s dead

simultaneous alert


the id we deserve

tweeting the horizon

of his delusions

fodder for historical LOLs

& shadow of a vapour

for all the rest


I want a corpse

for corpses, yet

not justice enough

not justice enough

Antigone needed

bros who didn’t war

fewer kings, a better chorus

the ravens didn’t save her

but gutted one another

the cusp of modernity’s end is

the compulsion to subtweet

she thinks, texting & ordering

fine linen by which she will swing

Jennifer Cooke

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