Frankenstein 2000

            (i)

Villa Diodati:
The year of Our Lord Nineteen Hundred And Sixteen:
Agapemone: love and lust
In luxurious Byronic exile.

Metaphysical musings,
Poems and prattle around crackling log fires,
Garrulous evenings of the fallen summer - ghost stories!

Strange genesis this, and thy mother so fair.
But tell me, Frankenstein: Quo Vadis?

            (ii)

Into print, of course, and onto the stage!
Mary Shelley: the authoress of the age.

Galvanism: the spark of life,
A key word in her diction.
íTwas only make believe, but truth is stranger than fiction.

            (iii)

Hollywood pays lip service to your creatorís tale.
Time and again you open your dull liquid eyes onto
The wider world through the medium of celluloid,
Each screenplay more absurd than the last.

House Of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets The Werewolf,
You even team up with Abbott & Costello,
Bolts thrust through the neck, green face, flat head, scars galore
And size twenty-five boots.
Grunt for the cameras, Boris...

You are a mere parody of a young womanís nightmare.

            (iv)

But today, another monster is lurking in the wings,
One far removed from Hollywood B movies
And cheap science fiction pap.

A century and a half on
The real Frankenstein is abroad,
But this one doesnít wear absurd make-up,
Instead he moves among us unnoticed, plausible,
He has many faces,
Often benign, always resolute.
He dons a white coat, carries a stethoscope,
Peers expectantly through a microscope,
His hands are not shaped like melons,
But are small and delicate.
See how dexterously he wields his scalpel.

Snip...one artery to go and now he holds
A human heart in his hand.
Watch closely as he inserts it into the lifeless chest,
And makes it beat again.
He sews up the recipient so matter of factly.

Two minutes silence please for the (unfortunate) donor.

Iím sorry Herr Doktor...
But there are no human hearts available today.

the bring me a baboon!...

Better still, make one out of plastic.

Gentlemen, we have the technology to rebuild him...

Transplant a liver, donate a kidney,
Transistorise an ear, regrow an amputated arm...

Quo Vadis, Frankenstein?

            (v)

Oh Doctor, Iím so thrilled,
I thought Iíd never be able to have a child.
Tell me, what will he look like?

Come and see for yourself, Mrs Smith.
Nurse, bring me tube seventeen please...Very good, Doctor.

Weíve given him blond hair to match your husbandís,
But if youíd prefer brown or red
Itís not too late to change it.

And will he be like his father
When he grows up, Doctor...strong?

Athletic!          And intelligent?

Yes, we aim for a one-thirty IQ;
Anything less than one-ten and we abort.

Quo Vadis, Frankenstein?

            (vi) Song Of The Cyborg

In my uniqueness lies my charm,
A human brain, a robot arm,
My cells are powered by the Sun,
And last for a millennium.

I function both in great extremes
Of temperature, and ion streams,
And when I suffer wear and tear
I automatically repair.

You are the last...I am the next,
Your time is past...Cyborgus Rex!

Your feeble frames canít stand the pace,
That is why...Iíll succeed the human race.

Quo Vadis, Frankenstein?
And whither goest all Mankind?

[Originally published in VIRIDIAN.]

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