Nanny State Blues: A Dystopian Fantasy. {poetry}


The good citizens of the Only State wake
each and every morning to reruns of Forrest Gump.
They enjoy a four-ounce cup of regulation chocolate
milk and a gummy bear vitamin. Then to the bath house
for a good soak and a State-monitored enema.

Today is the Day of Unanimity. Universal suffrage and mandatory
disclosure. Your vote is tattooed on your forehead. We all must choose
the Benefactor in Chief, the source of our guaranteed incomes and free tuition.
Now the government selects student majors. We clamored for it and we got it.
The end of liberty and the secret ballot.

They took my friend Jessie away for kissing someone of the opposite sex
in a sting operation in Malady Park, a well-known wooded area where
nymphomaniacs look for heterosexual perverts. Nathan got picked up
for drinking out of a large Styrofoam cup. He dumped his state-dispensed 4 oz.
Jolly cup designed for kale and fish egg smoothies and guzzled home brew instead.

I live with my State-authorized male partner. Our incomes will double if we marry.
We are expected to adopt and raise three children, two from the Ivory Coast and one
from Nepal. We have six months to accept. If not, we will be castrated and turned
into State Drones, our right to live together rescinded and our workloads doubled.
We will be marked for early death, 45 for men, women at 50.

We’ve both been targeted because we are old enough to remember living
in a state of liberty, back when people were permitted to go outside to eat,
defecate, or fornicate at will. During the Confiscation Wars, we lost our freedom.
Permanent curfews are now imposed along with Contentment Schedules.
Millions have been gassed. All guns now belong to the State.

Freddy and I are allowed to fuck once a day from 8:45 pm to 9:15 pm. Water is allotted
from 9:16 pm to 10:00 pm for showers and toilet. As we have no kitchen, no eating
is permitted within our dwelling, not until we adopt. We take our meals at work. My
school serves three a day, each at 750 calories. I must watch my weight. Obesity has been
outlawed, so I must maintain a BMI below 30 or I will be recycled for body parts.

Gratitude sessions are held nightly. I missed mine last night and will be fined. Freddy
attended so his salary will not be cut. If this continues, Freddy will be assigned a new
partner. I will be sent to live in a prison complex for the Ungrateful. No one has ever
graduated from Gratitude School; it is a lifetime sentence. The Benefactress herself
is known to loathe the Ungrateful and personally supervises the punishment blocks.

Testicles removed in Castration Clinics from males who refuse adoption are fed,
it is said, to the Benefactor’s prized herd of Shropshire rare breed hogs, bred for her
and other royals exclusively. Severed organs are scattered on pasture lands stretching
as far as the eye can see. It is rumored that the pork is sold at $1000 per kilo to private
armies throughout the world. All other meats are banned except rat and dog.

Today I learned Freddy has been assigned to a reproduction unit. If he sires a child,
he will be released from adoption duties. I must report to Gratitude Learning Center
#267, just outside Maya Angelou City. My life is over. They revoked my teaching
license. I will be required to track signs of “adverse proclivities” and “perverse yearnings”
among men who surf porn sites. They will be targeted for “imminent” elimination.

I just found out I will be castrated for my failure to fulfill my social contract. I am
to be renamed and given diversity training. Despite my preference for male companionship,
I must bunk with three lesbians. They, too, have been identified as “unproductive” and marked
for early termination. They can earn life extension credits by working in brothels and sex clubs
for refugee laborers. They’ve offered to teach me techniques needed for earning credits.

Some trace the end to the Confiscation Wars which, admittedly, were brutal. Others,
to the Supreme Court’s decision allowing the Benefactress to disguise herself as a Person
of Distinction, in a digital mask of Marie Antoinette, Queen Elizabeth and, recently, Neal
Armstrong in full drag. She is a well-known transsexual. The new Constitution forbids
a man with a penis from serving as Our Most Honorable Mistress.


David Lohrey‘s plays have been produced in Switzerland, Croatia, and Lithuania. In the US, his poems can be found at The RavensPerch, New Orleans Review, Nice Cage, and The Drunken Llama. Internationally, his work appears in journals in the UK, Australia, India, Malawi, and Hungary. His fiction can be seen at Dodging the Rain, Terror House Magazine, and Literally Stories. David’s collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was published by Sudden Denouement Publishers. He lives in Tokyo.


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