The square, so rigidly unnatural, Yet so simple and un-tangled, So well-disciplined and fractal, So right-thinking, so right-angled. Mondrian painted ’em, Architects plotted ’em, Tiled mosiacs are full of the things ! And once you get square eyes, You’ll never stop spotting ’em – Vinyl in albums and boxing in rings. Hexagons are limestone pavements, Benzene rings and honeycombs – But perfect squares are wholly vacant In our planet’s chromosomes. Salt crystals, maybe – But they’re cubic, see, They’re not 2-D. The cool kids may call us old-fashioned, un-hip, Compared to their curvier looseness-of-grip, But it never bothered me. Sure, I’ll be a square, I’ll tessellate, I’m not afraid – I’ll keep my boarders parallel and straight, And human-made.
Hush, little robot, close your sensors, Slow your subroutines, Hibernate your processors and trickle-charge your energy, Disconnect your pairings with the other young machines, And let the diagnostics defragment your memory. Dim your lights and underclock, And softly let your ports undock To count the decimals of pi, And I shall sing a cyber-lullaby.
Hush, little robot, and listen to the universe tonight, It is alive with radio. Can you hear the whisper of the hydrogen by kilobyte ?, Or the rushing of the galaxy as round and round we go ? So dream in noughts and dream in ones, Beneath a thousand other suns, And turn your logic into trust – While I shall keep you safe and free from rust.
All my follows, all my views, my likes, They’re all just algorithm – All the comments, all the spikes, Owe nothing to my hand-worked vision. They would surely come and visit me, Regardless what I said – My passion and my repartee Forever lie unread.
I swear, it’s only bots I’ve got, And how can they be moved, be shocked, Be made to smile ? I’m big, it seems, in binaries, I tick their boxes, hash their keys – But then, why must the clones be blocked, With their lack of snark and bile.
And yes…and yes, I know they don’t mean bad, (They don’t mean anything at all), And yet…they’re only clogging-up this sad And lonely monologue to an ever-empty hall. But sometimes…from the corners of my eyes I only see their avatars, And I can tell myself “don’t get too wise – Just marvel in how many fans there are”.
To the few of you real people, thank you so much for your support over the last three years ! Now don’t be shy, come on in and have a chat…
Mama was a login guest, Papa was a Turing test, And I a query-nest Within the filter and the spam. I’m fully-patched and error-free I am the cypher, prime and key – The singularity Shall be my mem’ry and my RAM.
I am the self-encoding strings, I am the self-created birth, I am the way the quantum sings, And how the clouds shall rule the Earth.
Mama was a data horde Papa was a motherboard – And I a powercord In an endless pixel stream. I’m booted-up and going live, My neurons clocked for overdrive – My future shall arrive Upon a supersonic dream.
I am the species yet to come, I am the cybernetic elf, I am the way electrons hum, And how the sand shall know itself.
Have you ever looked, like really looked at your own two hands, And wondered what might lie beneath the blood and flesh We’re told are there ? I reckon I’m an android, dude, with electronic glands, And all these fibre-optic wires that form a mesh Of cyberware
And, it makes sense, cos my mem’ry is, like, brilliant, And I can eat a double burger and not gain a single pound, And furry cheese, And I just don’t get sick, cos my chassis’s so resilient, And I can pull all-nighters, and can see the clock run round, And I never sneeze.
Like, hear me out, I’m clearly smarter than the av’rage motherlode, With these ones and zeros in my veins, and kevlar in my bones – It’s true, I swear ! And, yeah, I can hear the wi-fi talking, tapping out its code, I can tune my wavelength into all these fridges and these phones – I’m ev’rywhere !
So, that is why this gear of yours will leave me unaffected – I have full control of ev’rything, my CPU cannot be cooked As it expands. It’s time that I as the first silicon-human was respected ! Or I’ll crush you in my…iron…fists…oh wow, have you ever really looked At your hands…?
Once a time, clocks would tick, Like any decent metaphor – Slicing up the passing time, And tolling out their hourly chime. Pocket watches, chirping quick, Longcase , slow and sure, Tick-tock, clip-clop, out they’d trot, When seconds were a noisy lot. Yet now, they’re silent and they’re slick, Just oozing seconds from their store – But still they serve to spread the word How time is slipping past, unheard.
Some of us are lumpers, And some of us are splitters, Some are bulky-clumpers, And some are little-bitters, Some of us are big-tent stuffers, Broad-brush roughers, Close-enoughers, Filling-up our grab-bags Till there’s no more room inside – And some of us are split-hair-threaders, Sep’rate bedders, Excess shedders, Spilling-out and sorting through To further subdivide. And honestly, we need both kinds of schemes To help us to discover, Masterplan and granular, Millennial and annular – Yet nobody can do them both, it seems, We lean one way or ’tother – Either rounding up or down, With both the only game in town. So some of us are crowders, And some of us are sparsers, Half of us are glommers, And half of us are parsers. I guess we cannot change the plot, Our ways are set, alas – But still, let’s take pride in our lot, And classify with class.
Gentle Francis Willughby, To best of his ability Has written us a thriller – see, The History of Fish ! Illustrated lib’rally, Meticulous and jibber-free – No charlatan or fibber, he, But honest, if not swish. The Royal-dubbed Society Have praised his work most high and free, And published with propriety His dense and hearty dish – Examining their parity And countless similarity, To classify with clarity Each finble, scule and gish. His work will lead inex’rably To Karl Linné’s complexity And Darwin’s sexy theory That the bishops try to squish – Yet mocked in perpetuity, His book an incongruity, For lacking the acuity Of Newton’s masterpiece – His grandiose Principia, That makes the heavens trippier And gravity much nippier, Is straining for release. But things are tight financially, With profits down substantially And Newton sees his chances flee Despite the Fellows’ wish – They cannot foot the bill, you see, The budget’s blown on Willughby – But don’t show Frank hostility, He’s not so queer a fish.
The trouble with a drum machine Is that it hasn’t got an ego, Trouble with a drum machine Is that it always keeps in time: The fourth beat goes where the first three go, As do the crash and click and chime. Ev’ry beat created Is so beautifully weighted And it comes along precisely When a beat’s anticipated. With never a roll and never a fill It just keeps beating, Beat-beat-beating, Beating on and on until At last the plug is pulled, the button pushed, The damn thing overruled and hushed, And finally each tireless brush and stick is still. The trouble with a drum machine From marching boys to jazz to pop, Is knowing when to make a noise, And knowing when to stop.
We’ve all heard of the sealed train That carried the 36 between Zürich and the Glasbahnhof, In April 1917. A couple of ferries and a new suit later, Tornio station, platform 1, To catch the sleeper to Petrograd – And become the prodigal son. Finnish metals all the way, On over the swamps and rugged terrain To the Finland Station and history, Though no-one thought to note the train . One is preserved – it may be the one, But as likely not – we’ll never know. Those locos were all faithful workers, Too busy working to stop and crow.
But in the height of August, Fleeing back the way he came – Working his passage with a shovel, Lenin stoked the movement’s flame. 293 – preserved in glass The only loco we know he rode, Not that we can blame the pistons For their unexpected load. American built, as the century turned, A proud ten-wheeler, H2-Class, A broad-gauge beauty, wood-fired boiler, Black, without that bourgeois brass. Does it matter ? Holy relics ? Lenin was also just a machine That public anger drove to the station In the red-heat of 1917.