EDGE and Tesseract are imprints of Hades Publications, Inc.
i-ROBOT Poetry by Jason Christie
EDGE and Tesseract Books are distributed in Canada and the United States by Fitzhenry and Whiteside (more)
With French Flaps
5.0" X 8.25"
SONY READER (TBA)
A Novel by
In this picture, my cybernetic eyes quickly
acclimatized to the early sun, which is amazing
but I still maintain that I am not a robot.
My travelbot mailed you a postcard with
pictures from our trip to Spain on the front.
His handwritten message on the reverse remains
illegible, I thought it said: “You should see this
view!” My wife could hardly believe her new
eyes and ears. She said: “I’d cry if I could.
I’m crying on the inside.” When she asked
about the fuzzy haze on some of the shots,
I said: “I never really liked that robot camera
anyway.” Anyway, last night I voted for the
robot candidate, even though her main platform
policy is the extermination of all human beings.
I believe everyone deserves a chance in a
democracy. “In a democracy no less!”
the robot Optometrist said, “I can’t
believe my eyes.”
A robot grinds forward to a rusted iron bin,
and then uses its own body as a lean-to against
the chill wind. A metal clunk, clanks the night
into discrete shapes from the dark, sentences
words to a fateful march. We gradually see
edges, metal corners gleam in the streetlight
glow. What it isn’t begins to waft away as
though the fire chiseled the image itself.
Slowly the old robot rises into the cold through
the smoke, tips over, rises again then falls
forward. His treads spin in the air, the whir lost
in a slight wind. Gradually he manages to roll
onto his back and then jerk himself upward in
starts and stops. He wheels from one edge of
the sidewalk to the other, and then falls again.
His outdated program won’t let him sleep.
I’ve Got the Gnosis Blues
Why do I have to be one of millions?
Why can’t I just be a lonely little one in search
of a zero to call my own? I can’t get lost with
everyone else inside my processor and a GPS
beacon near my heart-motor. Oh, how I’d love
to be lost for once. Just for once. Just this once.
Lost without a chance of ever being found.
Lost with no return to return to, a byte awash
in a data storm forever unmoored but always
around. Am I human or all too human?
My robot fell in love with our neighbour’s
garborator. My robot fears molten lava.
Oil, really thick oil, intoxicates my robot and
makes it amorous. My robot falls asleep while
she sends faxes; she smiles and says it has
something to do with the noise the fax
machine makes. My robot cut his thumb
on his lawnmower blade while he attempted
to tie his shoe and our coffee maker bandaged
it for him. There is a dementia, if it can be called
that, or human envy, that permeates our robots’
memory circuits. My robot collects hockey
cards. My robot incessantly studies American
Civil war documents when he isn’t hard at work
in our garden. There was a robot, when I was
a kid, that I saw topple from a large apartment
complex downtown. It wore a frilly, powder
blue dress. Our conversationbot wakes
screaming from nightmares ever since our
trip to the junkyard where she saw the robot
that crushes cars, and heard other metal
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