From the archives – it all started with a conversation about #Westworld

Yeah, I was talking with my colleague
on the reference desk between walk-ups and chatbox chats,
about cool television shows to check out over the holidays.

Same one who turned me on to Jessica Jones which
later became Luke Cage. An actress with an M.A.
in philosophy, she’s always got good ideas
’bout movies and television. So she started

talking about Westworld. But Westworld is on HBO
and we ain’t got cable, so I said, “Tell me about
it anyway.” She said, “it’s about androids and stuff

they do in a fantasy park when they go off
the program.” Said, “it’s the best series on television,”
and she knew all the plots and theories.
I said, “I have some android sonnets.”


And here they are:


Sonnet #53

High culture and low,
polished and profaned,
sanctified and ghettoized –

all the decisions we make
stem from false dichotomies
presented to us – opposing options

in a narrative, neither of which
makes us better or worse for the wear –
just older and grayer –
more wrinkled and cataract’d,

until our vision is blocked,
and our tastebuds deadened
by the novocaine they give us –
for good behavior.

Sonnet #54

I wake up with the hiccups,
my coffee jones is down on me –
I stumble to the kitchen,
still some powder left in the grinder
from yesterday’s yesterdays –
I fire up the kettle – twice-boiled
water will do just fine, thank you.
My hiccups are getting worse –

The french press is full of sludge.
I pour the sludge out – most of it –
what remains will season the new batch,
sort of like making yogurt. The whistle
is blowing, the water is boiling again.
Won’t be long now. Won’t be long.

Sonnet #55

another crazy dance with Maria dos Santos Pittsylvania:
she loves the Tango, Lambada, Kizomba –
always well-dressed, her steps are technically
choreographed, mechanically proficient.

The rhythm, the beat of the music determines
each step, each twirl, each bump, each groove:
but the melody stirs the heart, and you want
to peek into her eyes, cast a flirtatious glance, at least –

then the beat shifts, requiring a technical adjustment,
precision; and attention to the glance you seek
gets diverted to the mechanics of the dance, again –
and you know it’s OK, because Maria is an android

in a pretty pink body suit. And you think yourself
a knight in shining armor – this is Second Life, silly.


Author: Raymond Maxwell Librarian, archivist, retired foreign service officer and Navy veteran.

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