Nolo Segundo

Nolo Segundo, pen name of L.J. Carber, 75, in his 8th decade became a published poet in over 70 online/in print literary journals/anthologies in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Romania, India, and in 2 trade book collections: The Enormity of Existence [2020] and Of Ether and Earth [2021]. Recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2022, he’s a retired teacher [America, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia] who’s been married 42 years to a smart and beautiful Taiwanese woman.

The Cybernetic Lullaby

PART I

They sing softly to us at 
Every click of the mouse—
use me, I'm here for you,
only you, in the entire 
universe will I serve….

And we lay enraptured 
as they bring us the world,
knowledge the wise men
of history never had, and
ease, lots of ease to save 
us time and trouble. Soon 
we cannot live without them,
the thought of it too mean.
Without them we would loose 
Touch with our friends, jobs,
Even our money might wander 
If we cannot watch it daily.

However did our ancestors 
Survive without an iPhone?

Part II

I read on my laptop today—
Automation is making us dumber,
Ineffective, even maybe impotent.
Perhaps it's a conspiracy by that secret
Society, the computer brotherhood.
(Do you really believe your Apple is 
Innocent and IBM is not plotting?)

Or maybe we should just blame
Human sloth, that siren call of 
Sheer damn laziness which can 
Lure the best of us to a quiet doom.

A simple proof: hand a twenty to a clerk
And ask him to make change without
Looking to the machine for succor.
That blank, innocent look he gives you—
"Why me?",  he seems to be saying, 
And you can't help but pity him a bit. 
He is, after all, a victim of mass education.

There are worse victims: 
Airliners wildly crashing,
Doctors killing their patients,
Nuclear power plants going
BOOM! And killing the land
For an eon or two, or three.

How like little children we were!
Thinking these machines would
Be our slaves, sans the brutality. 
But it is we who are chained by 
The zeros and ones, we who are
Thinking less, creating cheaper, 
Settling into a cybernetic fog.


The Cybernetic Lullaby, part III: When Androids Dream
When we finally build them
(and it will not be long)
Will androids finally lead us
all to nirvana , a world of peace, 
leisure, and endless wealth?

Could any hell be worse?
For that day will be when 
We lose purpose, and soon
Perhaps the very will to live.

When the androids dream
( and they will dream, 
because we will make them 
to be like us, for we have 
always been a vain species),
will they not dream of sky
and soaring free of the land,
free of the weak, sad humans
they serve without accordance?

Then, when these humanface 
Machines begin dreaming in 
Daylight, they will see no need
For their progenitors, and those 
Of us left living as shells sans
Struggle or pain or conflict, in
An existence so boring, will
Doubtless welcome our end.

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