Deus Ex Machina

Even the whales were invited  

to the inauguration of the machine. 

One of them said, I am tired of sorrowing 

with my own voice, with my own blue heart 

wanting to beach on the strand. I am tired 

of making recordings that no one translates 

with any accuracy, or at the very least into 

flowers. The herring wanted to keep their sleek 

grey dinner jackets instead of simmering in glass 

jars until their flesh wrinkled. True

hopelessness is when there is no future

to anticipate, other than one delivered 

on tiny pieces of dry toast borne on silver

trays as small talk circulates in a hall—

Perhaps the machine is also responsible

for that kind of piped-in music. Once,

a king put his prisoners in a brazen 

bull. A fire built underneath it produced 

cries of anguish, which never reached 

human ears. Instead, that sound was heard

as ravishing. A player piano, a program,

a score written for an empty orchestra. 


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