Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Robot Dance


ROBOT TALK

TALK TO ME IN ROBOT TALK
WALK WITH ME THAT ROBOT WALK
DANCE WITH ME THAT TECHNO-DANCE
IN CYBER-DREAMS OF TECH-ROMANCE
TECHNOLOGY SO COLD IT'S SAID
MECHANICALS AND CHIPS ARE DEAD
AND I SEE STREETS IN FIELDS OF GREEN
UP AND DOWN MY TV SCREEN
TALK TO ME IN CHIRPS AND BEEPS
SO LOUD AND FAST THAT NO ONE SLEEPS
DRUMS THAT THUNDER LOUD AND CLEAR
SOFTWARE THROB AND VIBRATE HERE

IN THE SILENCE BEFORE THE PAIN
IN THE ELECTRONIC DOMAIN
BEFORE THE CIRCUIT RESONATES
BEFORE THE CURRENT SATIATES
WALK THIS RIGID ROBOT WALK
SPEAK METALLIC ROBOT TALK

SILICON SAVIOR SYSTEMATIC
PUT YOUR SOUL IN AUTOMATIC
PUT YOUR SHOES AND SOCKS IN DRIVE
COLD SYNTHETICS COME ALIVE
WHEELER DEALER DIAGNOSTIC
INSANE ASYLUM CAUSAL CAUSTIC
INSCRIBE IN PASTEL SHADES OF CHALK
TALK TO ME IN ROBOT TALK
OUTPUT INPUT
     DOUBT
     PUT OUT
VERTICAL AXIS TWIST AND SHOUT
ONLY SPINNING IN PHASE SPACE
IN ORBIT OF THE HUMAN RACE

IN THE CALM AFTER THE FACT
STRANGERS WONDER WHO ATTACKED
AND WHO THE VICTOR MIGHT HAVE BEEN
AND WHAT ABOUT THIS MESS THEY'RE IN
TALK TO ME IN ROBOT TALK
I'M GOING OUT TO ROBOT WALK

TECHNO-DISCO RANK AND FILE
SCREEN DISPLAY AND TASTE OF BILE
RIGID FRIGHTENED SYNCHRONIZED
PRE-PROGRAMMED AND PARALYZED
RELATION AXES Z AND X
ABEND AND DUMP AND THEN PERPLEX
LOVE EQUALS AFFINITY
THE INFINITE IS COMEDY
SO TALK TO ME IN ROBOT TALK
I'LL SWING MY ASS AND ROBOT WALK
IN NIGHTMARE DREAMS OF TECH-ROMANCE
I HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO DANCE

IN THE LIGHT AFTER THE NIGHT
STRANGERS PART OR MAKE THEIR FLIGHT
HOW COULD THEY HAVE BEEN SO WRONG?
THE SIREN SANG THE CYBER-SONG
ELECTRONS SPEAK AND PEOPLE HEED
     CRUEL IS COOL
     GRIEF IS THE RULE
     MEN ARE JUST FOOLS
     JUST FOOLS INDEED
GOOSE-STEP OUT THAT ROBOT WALK
AND SPEAK SATANIC ROBOT TALK

IN THE RUINS AFTER THE CRASH
ROBOT WALKING THROUGH THE TRASH
REFLECT ON WHAT IS COLD AND TRUE
REFLECT ON WHAT WAS DONE TO YOU
REMEMBER ALL THE WILD GYRATIONS
LOOPS AND DIVES AND INCANTATIONS
PERFORMED IN PERFECTED MECHANICAL MODES
BY SILICON CHIPS AND SONIC DIODES
FORGET ALL THE TREES THAT GAVE UP THEIR LIVES
FOR PILLARS OF GREENBAR IN SOMEONE'S ARCHIVES
AND AS YOU ROBOT WALK FOR MILES
WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL YOUR ROBOT FILES?

IN SHATTERED DREAMS OF TECH-ROMANCE...
MAY I HAVE THIS FINAL DANCE?

THE MUSIC SHIMMERS DARK AND SLOW
THERE IS NO FURTHER WE CAN GO
THE FRONTIER ENDS AS SO MANY BEGAN
WITH TWO FINAL SOULS IN THE WASTE HAND IN HAND
I LOOK AT THE SUNSET AND MEASURE THE ARC
HOW MANY MOMENTS TILL WE DISEMBARK?
HOW WILL THE FUTURE BEGIN TO UNFOLD?
HOW MANY PROGRAMS WILL MAKE US TOO OLD?
IT SEEMS THERE ARE QUESTIONS TOO MANY TO SAY
AT THIS ANCIENT STAGE AT THE END OF THE DAY
AND ANSWERS ARE SHORT AND THE SUPPLY'S NOT SO GOOD
AND IF I DID KNOW THEM NOT SAY THEM I SHOULD
AND SHOULDN'T THAT SUNSET BE ALL MOSTLY GONE?

I AM DECEIVED
THIS SUNSET IS DAWN

AS DARKNESS RECEDES AND REPLACED BY THE LIGHT
THE MEMORY FADES OF THAT ENDLESS BLACK NIGHT
WE WALK THROUGH THE RUINS NOW BRIGHT AND ALIVE
A VIRTUAL BUZZ IN THE CYCLICAL HIVE
THE ANIMALS GRAZE IN THEIR DULL ROBOT WAY
THE SUN IN THE SKY MAKES A BRIGHT ROBOT DAY
AND WE PUT DOWN OUR FEET DOWN IN SPECIFIC RHYTHM
A LIVING EXAMPLE, AN ANACHRONISM

IN WILDEST DREAMS OF TECH-ROMANCE
ALL MY LIFE'S A TECHNO-DANCE
ALL I WANT IN MY LIFE IS TO ROBOT WALK
WHILE YOU TALK TO ME IN ROBOT TALK...

-o-

Please forgive the wall of caps, if you can. There's a reason for it, so please read on.

"Robot Talk" was inspired by my friends Dan and Linda in 1993. As a companion piece, I drew the illustration, "Robot Dance." The poem was typed on a dummy terminal into a mainframe library while I worked at Musicland. At the time, the default for anything typed was capitals and I decided never to change that. After I drew "Robot Dance" and scanned it, I converted the color scheme to green on black and included the poem in the same scheme. The effect is much like the screen on which the poem was typed all those years ago.

"Robot Dance" is one of my all-time favorite drawings and "Robot Talk" is one of my very favorite poems.

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