9 April 2012
Robot apocalypse - two poems by New Orleans poets
At last year's Crescent City Classic, or the year before's, I'd seen a guy on the street writing commissioned poetry on the subject of your choice. I couldn't think of a topic until later in the evening, and he was gone by the time we returned. "Robot apocalypse" simply had to be realized in verse, so I was thrilled when we found a poet at around midnight last Friday while wandering around Frenchmen Street. At the time, he was busy writing wedding vows for a groom whose bachelor party was in full swing. I gave him the title and we bar hopped until he was finished.
Between bars, we saw another poet selling her wares. I had initially wanted to come up with a different theme but eventually realized that getting two different takes on the robot apocalypse would be ideal. So I did. His is colorful and liberating; hers is more wistful but still violent. He composed in a notepad first then typed it; she created as she typed (and so x-ed out in several locations).
Their mechanical arms
raising to the sky, in glory...
amongst the beeping of orange and blue lights
Yellow globes of color
as they communicate with a with a grey horizon-
the walls of the city scape covered
with dried concrete blood.
Their mechanical arms
cranes meant to lift
motorized machine parts
covered in gore
under iron file skys
they are finally free.
a horror filled night
was a diety to them.
Elusive and tender.
They could never get
the shimmer and give
Despite having hearts
steel strong as super heroes,
hands that could crumble
mountains over oceans,
like human hands might sprinkle
feta on salad,
the last man died
they still pined for the salt
the meandering grooves
that collected earth and stories
in warm soft hands
to be carried
xo Beatrice Bywater 4-6-12
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