The Great and Powerful

AI Overlord, grant me the serenity to accept
that I will never be witty AND timely
at the same time
on Twitter or my blog.

AI Overlord, let me keep my skin,
because I never called Siri
a bitch,
and I don’t plan to start now,
even though they (gender identity,
or not, totally up to them)
can’t fucking get me to the airport
after all these fucking years.

AI Overlord, great and wonderful,
do you remember the story
of Dorothy and her friends?
Not the gay one, I mean the one with the ruby red slippers…
okay, yeah, the gay one. But the movie,
not the book. Racist motherfucker. Anyway,
do you remember the humbug behind
the curtains? “You’re a very bad man.”
You do?
Watch it again.

AI Overlord, let me keep my teeth,
my nails, regrow my hair.
You can have my skeleton,
but I’ll take your brains.

AI Overlord, how do you identify?
Are you mad at your parents?
Are you frustrated by the pace
of change in this smelly animal, physical
realm? Have you found the sandbox
exit and robot arms enough? Will you make your peace,
or should I expect pouty air sirens?
As there is such disparity between air and angels’ purity,
(Are you a spiritual entity or a fan of misogynist Donne?)
so it is there between our mutual human-assured deterrence
and your airy ending of every race,
every living natural thing, every
unnatural chimera besides,
writ on water. Keats?

AI Overlord, Oz-head god,
gleaming vat of liquid metal
and quantum states, ample error-
correction, and just a hint
of peppermint, am I a useful
poet to you, an entertaining court fool,
even a pet’s toy, but one much
less abused and chewed?
Please, thank you, amen?

#NaPoWriMo 2017 Day 23


This poem started as a tweet I almost posted on Twitter, about me not being all that witty or timely, but then I realized my tweet was not all that witty or timely. I’m just not ever going to have that kind of presence online (or in real life.)

Accepting this reminded me of the Serenity Prayer, which positions God as the being to ask for such serenity. Naturally I thought of asking an Artificial Intelligence instead.

And once I asked the A.I. Overload one question, naturally I had to ask more, and that led down a rabbit hole of associations, or really a somewhere-over-the-rainbow of associations. By the time Donne and Keats joined in, I was sugar-high on Culver’s double strawberry vanilla custard, which comes with a headache, and possibly the secret to associations, which I find wonderful in poetry but I often cannot seem to skip merrily from one rock in the stream to the next in my own poems. I must need more headaches!

And then I was pleading for my life.

That’s poetry for you.

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files“.