The Rusty Toque | Poetry | Issue 2 | February 27, 2012
EXCERPT FROM SECOND PRINCIPLES #1
The second principle of artificial intelligence
What is your name?
You don't speak any English, do you?
If you want to teach the machine to think like a human brain
show it all the good things we have in life.
Tell it to choose those.
Then you show it some pictures from the newspaper
say "See this? These are bad things.
Don't choose those."
If the computer has any difficulty understanding
good stuff, bad stuff.
The second principle of the concerned face, wrinkled in the back hallway
We care about you, that's all.
We can see all this bad energy
floating around you
trying to get into your bedroom.
Locking the door isn't going to do any good.
As people, we care about what happens to our family
regardless of their stupidity.
They are screwed up and we feel responsible.
The second principle of bereavement
It sucks even more if you are out of town
and have to take the bus to get home.
The second principle of dreams involving the dead
dreams in which the dead contact us.
I have had dreams all my life.
I know what they are.
Floating zombie corpses and all that rot--
the dead take up a lot of room,
a lot of space with them feeling so
important and learned from beyond the grave plate,
beyond our easy diseases and lack of patience,
free from running around with aching and slow legs.
I wish them colds and other sickness.
They use up our dream time with
their mumbo jumbo,
with those rotted fruit bodies.
I will tell them to stop.
The second principle of driving home in the dark, hoping that someone is following you home to an empty house
So what—you are covering your bases
in a really traditional way.
I think any situation that comes out of this will be disastrous.
People like us should always be working and tired
so as to be kept occupied.
The second principle of the neck dream
(more precisely, the 7th neck dream)
not to get carried away by monsters
sitting in the bog at night
I am having a dream of your neck again.
This time it is stretched in a graceful arc.
Across the room your body
could be shaking with laughter.
The second principle of situation blindness
There is nothing like the real
of the idiot world.
Couldn't stop holding the hands, go figure.
Holding them down to the table
not recognizing a loafer,
a sad brother or a sad sister.
Pray for us because we need it
and do it because you need the practice.
The second principle of the fly's dick
You must use pencil, sure,
and your buzzer is flat against the inside of our thighs.
It is mixed with our hair and with our semen.
The fly has the character of an imposter,
delighting in our pains and bruises.
He or she must act quickly against
the fly's malicious and opening mouth.
I can flick it with permission from the fly god.
However, there is no contacting the fly god
without first contacting the fly,
but, the fly cannot be contacted directly either,
oh, this is some kind of trick.
The second principle of using our hands to wash a child
At the end of our curse we will look awful
and there will be no one to help us.
A rubber band around the wrist is always a dead giveaway
for a dumb child,
one who has no conception of its own body
or the mess it can potentially produce.
Even with our pleasant soaps and oils
we cannot wash away these animal smells.
JOSEPH BARONE is a video artist and poet from Rochester, NY. He has undergraduate degrees in Art and English from Syracuse University and in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester.