Marcus Aurelius Robotics/Jukebox Benediction


An orthodontic smile of Alpine snow
Beneath a gaze of impudent blue steel
The face a composite of poolside tan   –
Such is ‘beauty’ here in Android Land

Can you instruct the ‘heart’ of this machine
Priorities of ‘friendship’ and ‘affection’
To soften and to leap at love’s approach?  

Then to grow ingenious as virus
Seeking how to scan
And so anticipate
Our complex human ill-expressed desires
Our varied contradictory needs
So perplexingly eccentric
That in concord or in discord
They plait a multi-flex to form ‘The Passions’?

Within their blameless circuitry
Such has yet to happen   –
Supposing when it does
One day at their service
A good ‘electric shepherd’ fused and fell
Or as it were   –   laid down its life
Reversing all our ‘input’ to the ‘program’

Man might seem ‘true-android’ to them then   –
An infant android grandiose enough
To dream his immanent technocratic ‘heaven’
His human fallibility re-named ‘computer error’
Leading him   –   a lost ‘electric sheep’
Adrift from moral compass
Merely free to graze ‘electric dreams’



The boy with withered leg
In callipers and brace
That boy goes on one knee to say
‘Gene Vincent’

Wall-eyed Bob
Black heavy specs
Confidently takes new steps
All because of ‘Buddy’

Phil’s hay-fever nightmare
Needs prescription shades
So he stumbles into girls
Like ‘Brother Ray’

Hyperactive Lenny
Leaps on every table
Kicks his chair away
Screams ‘Jerry Lee!’

Shorty always pays half-fare
Saving all that loot
For four-inch Cuban Heels
‘As advertised’ in Merseybeat

What if Elvis tints his hair
Wears make-up and mascara?
Any film he features
He’s still winning every fight!  


Bernard Saint
Illustration: Claire Palmer




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