Poem with British Detective Series and EJKs

A man goes camping or birding then
goes missing. Schoolchildren find

a woman's shoe on a field trip, laces
tightly tied. On the same day, a body

is found face down in the culvert,
apparently drowned in five inches

of water. Are these random occurrences,
or are there victims of foul play here?

How many evenings of intense contemplation
will it take the young detective constable

who studied Classics to tease out connections,
as record after record of his favorite opera

arias plays on the turntable? A good
reader of literature, he'll follow

the clues and collect complex leitmotifs,
revealing how the unseen hand of the author

has braided them into some other variation
of that narrative of thwarted desire. And

all the characters in this series have
such allegorical names: Trewlove, Bright,

Strange; Pilgrim, Thursday. And the main
character, with a first name no one ever

seems able to say. Evil seems so genteel,
and death so earnest and refined—the final

chokehold delivered by expensive silk
pantyhose, the fatal wound by a tiger

slinking straight out of the imperial past
into the labyrinth of gin parties and summer

schools. I kind of wish it were more like this
in real life, not the rising daily tide of

particular murders ordered by a tyrant in
his so-called drug war, executed by his bag

men and hired assassins. There is no coherence
or epiphany in EJKs: only the same MO carried out

mostly in the slums, among the poor and helpless.
Episode after episode, it goes like this: two

masked men ride up on a motorcycle. One shoots,
then they ride away. The child was sitting on her

grandfather's lap. The schoolboy, playing basketball.
The four-year-old who'd just learned to write

his name, asleep in bed. The woman on the sidewalk,
eating a late meal of sardines and rice. In pools

of blood, our children, sisters, mothers, grandfathers:
Kian, Danica, Kristine Joy. Jayross, San Niño, Bladen

Skyler. Cristina, Rowena, Roman... They
number more than twenty-three


thousand now. How many episodes and
seasons do you think that would make?




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