Size / / /

Weary at the bar,

the cyberneticist asked,

"What am I doing wrong?

I wanted to make robot poets.

I gave them perfect rhyme,

clear memories of great works,

aesthetic theory and polished

skill at intricate patterns.

All they write is crap.

Unworthy of a Hallmark card."

A long draught. "Help me?"

The poet tapped the bar.

"Hit me," he said. "Ah!

I'll need a hammer,

some magnets, a handful

of dust, and a knife."

The poet set to work.

He cast magnets among them

pocking perfect memories with potholes

till verse became a stay against loss.

He hit them with the hammer,

some here, some there.

All dented, all different.

He scattered dust upon their sensors,

dribbled it in their joints.

So they all saw the world

through unique imperfections

and walked with personal rhythms.

They remembered perfection,

remembered memory even,

but knew neither any longer.

Their hymns rose up

aching, moving, improving.

They were good, the

cyberneticist impressed. "Wow,"

he said. "But what about the knife?

Oh." He watched the poet slice

his throat, anoint his charges,

and walk among them.

Falling, they rose up, recounting and

replacing pain with greatness.




Any rumors you've heard about Greg Beatty's time at Clarion West 2000 are probably true. Greg (email Greg) publishes everything from poetry about stars to reviews of books that don't exist. Greg Beatty lives in Bellingham, Washington, where he tries, unsuccessfully, to stay dry. Greg recently got married. You can read more by Greg in our Archives.
Current Issue
24 Feb 2020

tight braids coiled into isles and continents against our scalps
By: Mayra Paris
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Mayra Paris's “New York, 2009.”
This Mind and Body Cyborg as a queer figure raises its head in Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s 2019 epistolary novel This Is How You Lose the Time War, as two Cyborg bodies shed their previous subjectivities in order to find a queer understanding of one another.
Carl just said ‘if the skull wants to break out, it will have to come to me for the key’, which makes me think that Carl doesn’t really understand how breaking out of a place works.
Wednesday: The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman, translated by Daniela Zamir 
Friday: Into Bones Like Oil by Kaaron Warren 
Issue 17 Feb 2020
By: Priya Sridhar
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: E. F. Schraeder
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 10 Feb 2020
By: Shannon Sanders
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 3 Feb 2020
By: Ada Hoffmann
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: S.R. Tombran
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 27 Jan 2020
By: Weston Richey
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Jan 2020
By: Justin C. Key
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 13 Jan 2020
By: Julianna Baggott
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Terese Mason Pierre
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Terese Mason Pierre
Issue 6 Jan 2020
By: Mitchell Shanklin
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 23 Dec 2019
By: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Dec 2019
By: Osahon Ize-Iyamu
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liu Chengyu
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Dec 2019
By: SL Harris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessy Randall
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Load More
%d bloggers like this: