Author : Suzanne Borchers

“Armpits must stink, be hairy and itch,
While snot pours down the hooked- nosed witch.”

Threading his fingers through his hair, Robert squatted next to his prototype. The Poet224 bot definitely needed more work. Okay, his rhythm and rhyme senses were in play, but what could be done with word choice? Robert opened a panel behind the bot’s right ear to gain access to language boards. He pulled out a blinking tri-pin and replaced it with new one.

“Poet224, create a poem and recite it aloud.”

“There once was a mare named Snow White
Whose eyes were a color quite bright
She jumped over a tree
To follow a flea
And managed a circular flight.”

Robert beat his head with a fist. This bot was his last chance to sell his idea that poetry could be produced by anyone using a computer–that technology could do and be anything for anybody–and that music, art, and all the former creative expositions were rubbish. His PhD thesis in Computer Science was not wrong. He had spent 23 months on it, and time was money after all. He wanted the college’s Google Seat of Technology post!

Perhaps he should start small and build up a scaffolding poetic intelligence. “Poet224, create a poem of three words and recite it aloud.”


“You stupid piece of crap!” Robert paced around the bot. “You have intelligence, knowledge, plus a special emotion-chip stored in your artificial brain. You should be able to produce a simple, rational poem. I must have forgotten something.”

Poet224 swiveled its head to watch Robert circle.

Robert stopped pacing, and then he laughed. “That’s it! Time! I have lots of time! I’ll let Dad buy the academic post like he wanted to months ago, and then I can work on this thesis forever!” He reached down and placed Poet224 on the recycling bin’s conveyor belt. “Poet 224, create a poem and recite it aloud now, you hunk of shit.” Robert left, slamming the door behind him.

Poet 224 spun his head around to watch Robert leave, and then he swiveled it back to watch the approaching door of the recycling bin open.

“The irony of Time
lies in that moment
when its epiphany
dies unknown.”

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