Inauthentic

Here are some girls – young ladies, at a foyer desk

Dancing a double, from swim tickets to house cafe

Two jobs in one, a posse modulating as a pool

 

This one, she bobs

Now here now there, a leisure swim… or cake?

Another ventures quietly to break…

Alleviation is a guilesome shift

 

Enormities of prices boldly ask, their passes made

Hand over fist, fleecings esteemed legitimate

Taking the heart from out of life by teas and desolation

 

Eight pounds an hour, perhaps, if very lucky,

And yet no more

They sweep the floor for, tidy dishes, plates

In gladsome merriment

 

Duties are light, no real human relation contributes

Committment, just the slightest serviceable shade

Compliant – for is not after all, all life a little hollow?

But I don’t see it

 

No, nor is cooking here required, stood sneaky in enclave

A lonely microwave

Solo appliance tendering hot food on range,

Grain-based and pastey, with additives prolonging stale-by dates

Flatbreads sat half between snack foods and early-lunches

Truncated taster meals

 

Brought in like fly-tipping as ready-made landfill

From ‘outside sources’

Warnings on clingfilm packets ‘not for vegans’ (- ‘please’?)

Stacked sandwiches bestickered carry Harrods price like banter

Struggling with their existential scantiness

 

I had an egg mayonnaise attempt – ostensibly

With all its copious list down one brash face of packaging

Its nutrient names laid bare

Like curvy coloured bottles decking weird apothecaries

Their inventoried concoctions, worlds unknown to mortal men

 

I tried, I tasted, true to form its rank

And local ambience ‘swimming pool’ hard hinted ‘stash the cash’

Run graphically, like common Blackpool rock, all through

I had been better half the price in Wilkinson

Ate on the hoof

 

These girls, these ladies, nothing they’d invested

With courteous engagement to their local task

Supplies like customers were theirs to call to hand whatever

No need to leave their zone

 

Only the motions of cafe service, a set-up measly scant

And a rentier proprietor

Making a shakedown, takings haute-coture returns

A heist, a provocation fraudulent,

Employees simulacra, weak approximations

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