Catherine Kasper



Don't get drunk on electricity. These currents pack a circular charge, vibration and wires.

Don't pay attention to what they tell you. Don't be afraid to play with matches.

The mettle of your metal shall be tested, the limberness of your limbs

word play and homonyms. Anticipate the aphasia—play the Homer chip:

noble journey of Odysseus, and the wind that blew him through Scylla and Charybdis.

Install this sequence and you begin your program, bending will increase agility

as it lubricates your bearings on an axis.


Don't act electrified because you are. Don't stare. Don't hold it over their heads.

Their hot-wiring melts as yours replicates its intentions.

They've built you to anticipate but never suspected this moral outage.

Don't refuse their new chips; you are protected from acting against yourself.

This is something they can't claim: you are beyond their rotary diagrams

beyond pistons, pulleys, motherboards, and thermostats because the cells that multiply

you are devoted to survival. While their flawed body design selects decay

your titanium's flexible in an attitude complicit with challenges, enthusiastic

where their love of economy corrodes their best ventures.


You are extravagant in your own interest, utilitarian but unafraid of error,

with satisfaction to increase your potential. Generous, magnanimous, tender even

you have been blessed with lack of empathy; you are free because you accept the paradox

of closed circuitry. You believe you cannot fail because you are protected from personal injury.          



Years ago, I became interested in the story of the Golem, and the human fascination with finding itself in myriad forms. More recently, I have been doing research into cybernetic technologies and robotics and revised the previous draft of this poem with that in mind, as part of a larger book project.