Mark Zuckerberg Wants To Be My Friend on Facebook  

But enough about me, he said. What about you?
Tell me about the things you like to do,
your loves and passions, where you’re from,
your friends and family, the high school prom.
The books you’ve read, the songs you play,
how many steps you’ve walked today.
Your favourite team, the links you click,
and why not show me all your pics
and every message you’ve ever sent,
your phone contacts, and each event
you’ve attended – parties, gigs, street protests.
Oh, and every opinion that you’ve expressed.
I’ll share, too. Then serve it back to you:
it helps to optimise the ad click-thru’s.
Whole lives reduced to data sets,
algorithmic, summed up, expressed;
calculations based on hopes and fears
to influence what then appears
and manipulate the world that’s seen,
a rough harvesting of humanity.

The Man Who Was Trapped Inside A Stock Photography Catalogue

You will see me smiling
on overcrowded tube trains,
gloating over my home insurance policy,

pointing triumphantly at a sales report,
to the incredulity of my colleagues,
in corporate brochure spreads,

beachcombing with my Facebook family
in a glossy back page advert
in a doctors’ grubby waiting room.

I’m pristine; my white teeth gleam,
blue eyes twinkle, I possess no wrinkles.
My hair is impeccably tousled.

I am subject to the tyranny of perfection;
an ad agency’s immaculate conception
with inbuilt marketing collateral damage.

Just for once, I would like my spreadsheet
not to add up, or my shirt to be stained,
or have my stock photography wife and kids up

and leave me when my drinking gets too much
following poorly-made investments with the money
I stole from a charity box for crippled orphans.

At least it’s quiet in between assignments,
as I sit and wait here, in the catalogue,
and reflect upon this terrible beauty
we have both been born into.


Love was being left on the table.
Assets were unleveraged, needles unmoved.
Low-hanging fruit dangled down forlornly,
awaiting plucking.

He’d eaten the reality sandwich
and knew a new game plan was needed;
something to deliver a bang for his buck,
open the kimono, rub his rhubarb.

He sought alignment.

He flipcharted in the ideation laboratory,
pondered his own value proposition;
it remained unclear as to whether he had one.
He noted this down as a pain point.

He reviewed his immediate pipeline:
Fran from finance; Linda from sales;
Barbara from inhumane resources.
He imagined hotdesking them,
onboarding them, piggybacking them.
The thought was as welcome
as putting socks on an octopus.

So he thought out of the box,
bought in external lists based on key attributes:
Gender (female); Age (25-35);
Status (unmarried / unhappily married);
Interests (sex / cooking / golf).

Prospects were surveyed,
core competencies interrogated 
and hot leads pumped into his funnel 
for further nurturing and nurdling.

Only Melissa from Melton Mowbray 
survived the process; the capability matrix
clearly showed that she was where
the rubber hit the road. 

He brought her in for a focus group,
with a view to further quality function deployment,
and sat and listened to the Voice of the Customer.

She thought him a twat.