You’ve Got A Nice Machine


It’s so powerful,
and with so many bites,
fits into your pocket so easily,
collapsible and expanding,

I love your machine—
it’s sleek and streamlined,
art nouveau, deco,
and like a little Chihuahua
it never shuts up, never stops running,
even during lunch.

I don’t recall ever seeing a unit
with that many amenities before.
Does it service you well?
Is it battery powered? AC/DC?

It’s faster than mine, but is it
as effective?
Maybe you’ve backed
the wrong horse.

It’s obvious that it frequently
annoys you with details
such as turning the lights off,
it nags you like a mother,
you command it like a clapper,
though it will never give you the clap,

But listen to it anyway,
if only for your own good,
it’s smart.

Is it obsolete? State of the art?
Up to code?
Does it disappoint, dissipate,
do the dishes,
let you sleep?

Do you have the right software
for its hard drive?

Is it telling you everything
you want to hear
when you gaze into its singular,
myopic eye?

Will you name it—
HAL or Steely Dan—
marry it

or give it the boot,
trade it in for a newer model
if it fails
to fill the empty space inside?

Scott Blackwell

Scott Blackwell is a former resident of San Francisco and an MFA graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and has most recently had poetry published in Negative Suck, Ascent Aspirations, The Stray Branch, The Interpreter’s House and many others. He currently resides in Champaign, Illinois.

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