Two Poems
by KEN POYNER
I.
The Robot Experiencing Love


When we kiss
I register the sensation:
I note the pressure, the stance,
The actions prior to and immediately following,
Run the data against my library
Of pre-loaded and service life learned scenarios
And judge, yes, this is a kiss.
I then make appropriate changes
To appearance, adjust surface temperature
Marginally, select to cock my head askance
From the stored list of appropriate responses.
All this occurs in half a second,
With sufficient processors brought on line and then cooled,
Memory allocated, suspended programs
Swapped for the duration of this task
To the page file.  I accomplish
The correct response better than ninety nine
Point nine nine percent of the time.
But I feel nothing.  Nothing at all.
With a background diagnostic I search
For new programming, an altered register,
Something that proves this cause has effect.
A subroutine left still quietly running through it all
Watches you watching me watching
You accomplish the same adjustments
And subsystem commands as I.
You are flawless in your calculations.
We share an appreciation of each other’s efficiency.



II.
The Sense of Worth

I cannot give up the idea
That this world - the Universe,
Elliptical orbits, gravity,
My questionable Tuesday -
Are life in an ant farm project
Run by some eighteen eyed
Cross dimensional alien
And kept in what passes as his bedroom.
This eon, the alien
Is studying consistency
So my world obeys ordinary physics.
Personally
I look forward to the time
When I step naked from the shower
And join a clown army marching
On someone else's ceiling.
How comforting to learn
Cause and effect just might be
An entertainment.  How comforting
To understand life is what goes on
Between metaphorically two sheets
Of glass.  And that I do what I do
Because what else am I going to do?
And when the alien loses interest
I can perhaps escape across the floor
To a metaphysical wilderness and subsist,
A bundle of free will lost in the
Dross of his oversized, disorganized closet,
Or perhaps I can just lie down and rest.


KEN POYNER is appearing these days in “Sein Und Werden”, “Subliminal Interiors”, “Eclectica”, “Emprise Review”, and a few dozen other places.  By the time this appears, he will have hopefully survived his wife’s participation in the National Push / Pull power lifting competition, where she hopes to set a flock of American records.