Artificial Intelligence


Artificial Intelligence

They went to an amateur museum, where they happened
onto an old wrangler of sorts, known by them, it seemed,
when they were young and green
and once before out West.

And the wrangler remembered them,
in a zestful recollection of wrinkles winking,
and as he spoke
of how young and green they had been
they felt woven again
in the loom of that same youth
in the awkward green
of first love.

Only when they left his room, in the museum,
they read a writing on the wall that noted
the date of the wrangler’s death,
and discussed the animated projection
that stood in for him.

They wondered then how a projection
could have recognized them,
and soon whether they had ever
actually known that wrangler,
and even whether they had ever in fact
been young, green or in the West

Soon, she even doubted that he, who walked beside her,
had ever loved her,
and though he insisted that, of course, he had,
she still stared at him
when he wasn’t looking,
with palpable doubt.


A draft prose poem of sorts for With Real Toads Tuesday Open Platform.  (My life still far from my own; sorry to be late with comments.)  Photograph mine from a small municipal museum in Colonia, Uruguay.  

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12 Comments on “Artificial Intelligence”

  1. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) Says:

    Ooh, very spooky! And raising fascinated questions in the reader too, about the nature of ‘reality’ and many other things.

  2. hedgewitch Says:

    Very surreal feel to this–the museum of the mind, preserving so much, and yet so unreliable! I love the way this becomes material and real, a fleshed-out fantastical episode that one can instantly relate to–drawn into the plot and subplot by the characters and how alive and real they seem, even if they, too, are the projection of an amateur godling who shaped them for a day’s exhibit–anyway, enjoyed this very much–flowed beautifully.

  3. Very spooky, but also very cool poem. Put me in mind somewhat of Casares’ short novel ‘The Invention of Morel’, but here you’ve achieved greater economy of expression. One of the things I find satisfying about your poems is that your lines aren’t arbitrary. Whether long or short, you know how to construct a line.

  4. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    A stuffed armadillo always reminds me of the novel ‘A Prayer for Owen Meany’ by John Irving.

    The final stanza of your poem speaks volumes to me in terms of relationships and memories.

  5. This is my kind of poem (like many others by you, I hasten to add). It takes you in different directions but the main narrative is strong: reality is deceptive. One of the reasons why I like surrealism so much is that even though Dali painted a lobster where a telephone receiver would normally go, the lobster was still telephone receiver-shaped :-).

    Greetings from London.

  6. You always write such fascinating pieces. I wish I had a spoonful of your imagination. Love your ending.

  7. ellaedge Says:

    I read animal totems today and got the armadillo. “Many empathic people, because of their tendency to take on the aches, pains and “stuff” of others, will find they have an armadillo as a protector totem animal.” We all can always wonder about that youthful green and did we invite love into our heart or weeds~ Powerful poem-I loved it~

  8. lynn__ Says:

    Intriguing and somewhat disturbing piece…reminds of a visit to the Buckthorne Saloon/ Museum in San Antonio…a real curiosity!

  9. Marian Says:

    So interesting! Were they ever in the west? Do they wish they had or were?

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