George Jeffreys 11: George Jeffreys Woke Up in Langley by Jennifer Maiden

(A Defence Academy lecturer has stated that WikiLeaks 
encryptions are useless because the U.S. has decoding computers
so huge they are kept in liquid nitrogen not to overheat)


George Jeffreys woke up in Langley, Virginia,
next to a vat of liquid nitrogen, where
bubbled a giant computer. Assange
was recorded on a monitor, Jeffreys
supposed in the spirit that Montgomery
kept a photo of Rommel in his tent. Julian's
white hair and odd angelic youngness reminded
Jeffreys of his partner Clare, her logic
also having quiet, loquacious rancour: a strange
likeness between them both and that balletic
White-Haired Girl, the symbol of China.
The M.I. who had boastfully shown
George the computer returned with more beer.
'Have you cracked it yet?' asked George. 'They
change it a lot but I think we crack it. I guess
whatever it is spooks us too much here
for decryption to be much use.' 'That's why
you don't want him snuffed, just on ice,'
nodded George, 'in solitary in Sweden?'
'Sure, and Extradition's messy; last resort: troubles,
but we want to send a message.' 'Yes,23
as messages go, it does seem clear. But
with the results you like?' The M.I.
sniffed the U.S. beer, which left
mist on the air like the vat, where Julian
decoded again in slow, nitrous bubbles.


From Liquid Nitrogen © by Jennifer Maiden, 2012. Used with permission of Giramondo Publishing.




Canadian Shortlist:

What's the Score by David W. McFadden | Sailing to Babylon by James Pollock | Personals by Ian Williams



International Shortlist:

Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me, and Other Poems by Fady Joudah/Ghassan Zaqtan | Liquid Nitrogen by Jennifer Maiden | Night of the Republic by Alan Shapiro | Our Andromeda Brenda Shaughnessy