Sunday, April 17, 2011


When robots are born, their mothers are machines.

This is not to say that they are lacking in any way.

Floating in the aquasphere in the mid-levels,

New robots are happy--

They revolve like eggs in a pool,

They hear Mozart in the humming workings beyond the walls.

Then, goopy and stunned, they are carried head-first into production.

Some become domestics.

Some, soldiers.

Others, traffic signals, or automatic nannies.

Always, they dream of escalators.

Sometimes, when switched to stand-by, they imagine they are being carried up, returning.

For some, this brings terror and electrical malfunction, purposeless flailing and an alarming grinding within.

In others, the notion is sweet and sought-after,

Becoming stronger,

Like the siren addiction of lubricants.

These latter begin to falter--

They park the children in the underground reserved space,

And put the Chrysler into bed and sing it Irish lullabies.

Finally, they are taken out of service and sent back to base section.

They rise without effort, like buns,

Where it is warm from constant rotation.

They touch the passing steel with their alloy fingertips, going by--

They think,

"How like me,

Smooth and silver,"

And are accepted back,

Perfect match.


for One Shoot Sunday

Photograph by James Rainsford


dustus said...

Picasso had his Blue period... Yours is both aqua and spiritually approved.

Sioux said...

This is Shay meets Isaac Asimov...Wow.

Salem Lorot said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this bit.

Liza Ursu said...

"goopy and stunned"
"They rise without effort, like buns"
This piece, Wow. Thank you.

Salem Lorot said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this bit.

hedgewitch said...

Gives a whole new meaning to Love in an Elevator..I love the vision of us as them, them as us, and the floating amniotic pre-world calling to the oxymoronic robotic misfits. I'm also reminded of Alice Cooper's Clone Song "All day long I hear him shouting so loud I just wanna be myself, be myself..." Evocative and strangely mystical stuff for metal.

Beachanny said...

That image seems to have brought out the brilliance in everyone I've read. Yours the most innovative, novel take on the stairs. I love the idea of the birthing robots. I keep wishing for their realization to help us poor humans at the earliest stages and the latest stages of our life. Nannies to protect, nurses to ease us toward the next stage of consciousness as they stay slick, beautiful and well oiled. Well done Shay!

Helen said...

Another question you have no doubt answered countless times >>>>>

Do you read your work in public forums? High school, college classrooms? Poetry slams? Bookstores? ETC? If not, you absolutely must.

jen revved said...

Forgive me for saying this but sometimes it's hard for me to believe you're stone cold sober, you take such amazing risks and leaps in your work. I gladly entered and saw and felt this world you created for us today. I loved:

Floating in the aquasphere in the mid-levels,

New robots are happy--

They revolve like eggs in a pool,

They hear Mozart in the humming workings beyond the walls.

Whoa. Tweet and share this, everybody. xj

Brian Miller said...

i think i know a few of them...this is fabulous shay...we birth robots daily, or maybe that is giving robots a bad name...

Jinksy said...

That's recycling at its best! LOL

Maureen said...

Clever, original take on the prompt. Very well-written!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow. I heard they are contemplating robots to companion the elderly (which scares me a little), so this isnt too far from reality. How do you come up with these ideas? I have no clue, just am so glad that you do. You always knock my eyebrows up a few inches, and leave me in a state where all I seem to be able to say is "wow". You rock, Shay!

Lolamouse said...

Once again, your take on a prompt is amazing! Birthing robots! Brilliant! I am truly in awe.

Sheila Moore said...

interesting point of view written see it from the robots eyes...very unique!

libithina said...

ambitions/aspirations of a robot ~ simply brilliant tale ~ and so unique ~ polished and highly chromed ~ genius Shay ~ Lib ~ @libithina

moondustwriter said...

Gosh Shay
I loved this pic but could never have pulled the rabbit - I mean robot out of an escalator

love the not so metallic moonie

signed...bkm said...

"They park the children in the underground reserved space,

And put the Chrysler into bed and sing it Irish lullabies."

What great lines robotic so, timed like the big cities back east with their Irish sections...moving up and down the escalator..of life...bkm

Cloudia said...

your mind is a natural resource!

Warm Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral




Patricia Caspers said...

Fabulous robot/human metaphor. So eerie. "They rise without effort, like buns" is one of my faves.

HermanTurnip said...

"And put the Chrysler into bed and sing it Irish lullabies"

There is no greater love than robotic love. I think I might go read my car a bed time story right about now...

Ami Mattison said...

Humans as robots, robots as humans and human-made machines. Cool! If I had to choose, I'd say I love the aquasphere wombs, but also the ones that malfunction. The ending is just superb! Fine writing, Shay!

Daryl said...

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Lynn said...

A bit of science fiction - love it. :)

Mama Zen said...

Daryl stole my comment!

Seriously, you have the most amazing mind.

Raven said...

Wow! That is fantastic!

TALON said...

Truly amazing, Shay!

Anonymous said...

i agree with Sioux ~ poetic yet reminiscent of Isaac Asimov. brilliant!

Sara said...

I liked this one, but there's something kind of sad about this one. You make the robots seem so human-like. It feels like they want the escalator to take them to God.

I love how you put your words together to create such strong images. I want to read it again and again and sometimes I do:~)

Anonymous said...

Excellent communicating on so many levels at once! Special kisses for this one!