Conquistador

Dermot Bolger

Three times I have sacrificed myself as a martyr,
Gave up my life so that others might escape,


Three times this week I was betrayed by daybreak,
Three times I rose again to reboot my computer.


This is my life, or dare I say, my true existence.
Their world of enduring eight hours in an office


Before queuing twice a week in this evening traffic
To study in the Tallaght IT, no longer feels realistic.


Reality only starts when I arrive home to my duplex,
To dine with a plate placed in front of the screen,


When I anticipate the unknowns that may occur,
When I decide what universe I intend to inhabit,


When I prepare to play games against strangers
And to off-load real estate in my cyber abode.


In the IT they think me peculiar, call me a loner,
But I am far from alone. A world-wide web of us

Refuse to recognise their restrictions and borders
On who we are and who we are allowed become.


I know where I belong and it is not amid this traffic.
But while she filled her heaven with plastercast saints

I populate mine with sinners, fantasists and dissidents.
My parents believe in nothing but the news on television.
“You’re twenty-four”, they say, “you know nothing yet.”


But I know that their universe is the ultimate illusion,
With everything rationalised and carefully packaged


And all eventualities covered by an insurance plan.
Anyone can find me in my world and yet no one can,


There are no lanes cordoned off by traffic cones
But infinite space to be whoever I decide that I am.


I have personalised my private version of heaven:
It resonates with mythic beings, living and dead.


I know my visitors only as whom they claim to be.
Perhaps the driver opposite me in this tailback


Visited my site last night pretending to be a girl?
Maybe that is his reality, made flesh in one click?


Perhaps only the lies we concoct are actually true,
Because we select them by our own free choice:


Our true skin colour, true sex and true voice.
I was given no say in my nationality or birth,


But in cyberspace I make these choices myself,
Floating free of restrictions imposed on earth.


At the screen I can become my own creator,
I can discover the true core of my soul,


There I can become all the parts of myself,
Indivisible at last, finally made whole.

 

 

Conquistador

 

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