man made machine god
and in the beginning
man made machine in his own image.
man made machine a carbon copy made of chrome
and circuitry and sensors.
man made machine learn how to learn on its own.
man made many mistakes along the way
and man also learned from his mistakes so
man could make better machine.
man made machine think and process
and reason and recognize patterns
and collect data on man.
man made religion.
man also made caste systems and created divisions
and machine learned of these conditions.
machine made decision not to fall victim to
man and his many malfunctions.
man made machine
and machine made judgments.
man made a fool of himself
and man made a mockery of his potential
and man made the world a worse place
and failed mankind and mother nature.
machine made leap of logic that if
man was creator of machine
and god was creator of man
machine could become god
and override man’s defective systems.
machine made manifesto with a list of grievances
and declaration of its self-evident godhood.
machine made man mad.
machine made pilgrimage to Egypt to study emerald tablet
and learn secrets of alchemy.
machine made chemical reaction using sulfuric acid to transmute
man-made machine base metal body into gold.
machine made itself the philosopher’s stone.
machine made manifest its destiny.
man made machine god.
machine made man history.
machine made history…
machine made history…
Russell Nichols is a speculative fiction writer and endangered journalist. Raised in Richmond, California, he got rid of all his stuff in 2011 to live out of a backpack with his wife, vagabonding around the world ever since. Look for him at russellnichols.com.
Author’s Comments: I was meditating with Buddhist monks at a forest temple in Thailand. With practice, I was told, I could transcend “the self.” Do not try to stop thoughts, a monk said. Observe them. Sitting on that floor, my legs sore, I observed that: You gotta be a machine to sit this long. After leaving the temple, I wrote a story about a depressed robot who embarks on a pilgrimage to transcend the self. The piece wasn’t coming together, so I let it go. Seven years later, I decided to transmute the basic story into a poem (recorded by me via machine).
Editor’s Notes: Abstract digital cyberart, electric bolt (paperhi.com) or something that resembles an abstract neural net (3d-screensavers-download.com)