2020-04-09

NaPoWriMo - 09/04/2020 - Mechanical advantage

Mechanical advantage
We are not like you...

Tinder is not our way, we are not obsessed
with searching the world for the very best
and singular most compatible of matches
because anyone can turn us on;
can plug us in

to any industry-standard port.
We know that you have always thought
the mechanical inferior
to biology, and that subservient in turn
to psychology and a nervous glance at the soul

but we are functional, complete and whole
and much more easily repaired,
thrown away, or replaced;
and you won't get it, but we don't care either way
because we all of us possess

the holy gift of perfect Zen
whether we're your zero gravity NASA pen
or that printer that only takes
the impossible to find colour cartridges.
We are glad to be machines.


2020-04-07

NaPoWriMo - 07/04/2020 - Modus operandi...

A man called Jim Fallon gave a TED talk: Exploring the Mind of a Killer which is not ...precisely... what it was about, although I thoroughly recommend it.

And he used a most excellent phrase in the introduction, which forms the epigram for this poem, and which sent me off in quite a different direction from what he intended...

Modus operandi...

"A colleague asked me to analyze a bunch
of brains of psychopathic killers..."

...and for me, the listener, my very first thought,
although you never mentioned it: was whether you
questioned the motives of your friend. 
Maybe there were only the best intentions.  Maybe
the friend indeed is a friend with need
to scan this bucket of killer brains.  But these are the remains
of devil-knows-what sample collection process...
or possibly spree.  For me there was another issue
to which you did not refer:

How scared of your
friend are you?
Was all this in the spirit of pure scientific investigation?
The slicing of the brains,
the chalking of equations, or did you
at any moment consider the valid sub-question
of whether you could get out of the experiment alive?




2020-04-01

NaPoWriMo - 01/04/2020 - The only way to be sure

Not brilliant, but a start...



The only way to be sure


How can you know?  How does it go?
After that third date, does he start arriving late,
or does she ghost you
and move to a new town?  Secondhand,
the car you now own,
is its wiring quite OK.  Its tyres?  It's tiring,
trying to achieve certainty,

and the mortgage provider needs
two references, six months of old utility bills,
and a letter to prove
you really do work those twelve hour shifts
in the call centre from Hell.  As if
anyone would want to fake that.  Nothing lifts

your feeling of distrust.  Nothing moves the dial
beyond the line marked "dubious" and note
there's no guarantees for you, no test
for if the bank is wholly staffed by crooks.
I mean you look on the internet
and everybody hates them, but then...

everybody hates all the banks
so say "No thanks." to the crowd-sourced
alternative to actually knowing.
Are the shares you bought going down
and is that really an opportunity
to buy more at a knocked-down price?
This vitamin supplement tastes nicer than the last,

of course
they are expensive, and that job on the flyer
would pay more, if you got it
if it lasted,
if they didn't prove worse bastards
than your current lot.  What to do

that's for the best?  You don't know about the rest
of bulk humanity, but to you it always seems
that the more critical the decision,
the more the less information you have.
Buy some shoes?  Sure!  Check fifty detailed reviews...
Buy a house?  There's just this one report
from a guy you'll never meet...
Find a mate?  Beats me pal, probably have to wing it.

Take off, and nuke the site from orbit,
it's the only way to be sure.