Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


ninth: a conversation between Annabot and the Human Machine on the subject of overpowering emotion

(Note: Though Annabot is ostensibly downloadable, the attempt to open her produced an error, a string of errors.)



ANNABOT: What now?

HUMAN MACHINE: The Brain, the brain—that is the seat of trouble!

ANNABOT: My brain, whose brain? Those who feel, feel.

HUMAN MACHINE: On the blink?

ANNABOT: Or, discipline. The brain is a machine of habit. The heart is a hell.

HUMAN MACHINE: "The secret of smooth living is a calm cheerfulness which will leave me always in full possession of my reasoning faculty."

ANNABOT: But I am not cheerful.

HUMAN MACHINE: I ought to reflect, again and again, and yet again, that all others deserve from me as much sympathy as I give to myself. I place my hand over your heart.

ANNABOT: I cannot feel your hand.

HUMAN MACHINE: I cannot feel your heart.

This is the language of simple, obvious things
The conclusion and the part before

Anna held her hand out to feel the cold
It was cold

Then, nothing

 

Credit


From You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake by Anna Moschovakis. Copyright © 2011 by Anna Moschovakis. Published by Coffee House Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Author


Anna Moschovakis

She is the author of two books of poetry, You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake (Coffee House Press, 2011), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.

Date Published: 2011-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/ninth-conversation-between-annabot-and-human-machine-subject-overpowering-emotion