What do you think of this brave new world
 of "virtual reality" sold to you as "experience"?
And are you "experienced"?  Or is it a word
 that's used by a dead man devoid of experience?
And so you laugh at the phone sex lines,
 the porn stars, the centerfolds, the blow-up dolls,
 and the blown-up rock stars singing blown-up songs,
And here's the one that's singing to you:
 "Hey baby, are you experienced?"
 And then this all ends, and the silence descends,
 and there's nothing left to experience.

What do you think of this brave new world
 where a friendly voice tells you: "Buy! Buy! Buy!"?
 And sometimes you keep wondering: "Why? Why? Why?"
 and the voice keeps on telling you: "Because it's good!"
Can you see the displays of the elegant stores
 and the fading smile of a child turned whore?
Are you feeling numb or alone inside?
 And which way do you turn?--
 every sign tells you "GO",
 and sometimes you can't tell when a "no" means "no."

And what does it mean to be truly alive
 in this world of "feel-good", of feel-nothing-inside?
If the bullets don't fly through your windowpane,
 if your stomach is full, if you cannot complain,
 and starvation and sickness, and murder and death
 is another dull film on a big TV screen,
 with commercials and popcorn,
 and you're bored and you scream:
 "I want a new video, for this one I've seen!"

                                                           November 29, 1993
                                                        --Alexander Shaumyan