The Twittering Machines – Susan Cronin

All those twittering machines
aching open and shut, open and shut,

at too feverish a pace to actually ache.
This deathless silver fire,

screaming all-night carnival—
they spew music made purely

of Antarctic loneliness
and fright

(don’t stop—the lie
of certainties

clinching identical joys)
and light and light and light

disguising the source of a disquieting squeak.
One makes allowances for necessary noise.

One learns to believe
machines are fictionless

and to trust production,
x-ed out eyes and clown smile.

And beyond glitter and progress, the brain,
such an uncomplaining lump,

gets pecked away by cheap tin toys,
crumb by crumb, a magic trick.

(Note: The lines “music made purely of Antarctic loneliness and fright” are quoted from The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon.)

Susan Cronin has an MFA from The New School. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Mid-American Review, PMS: poemmemoirstory, Wicked Alice, Octopus, and RHINO, 44and is forthcoming in White Stag.

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