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Machines, Metaphors, and the American Eden | A Poem by Ralph Monday

The ultimate goal, definitive end, a machine
metaphysics. Since the 18th century the future
was set like cuneiform script in clay.
Laplace’s declaration: give me the past and
present coordinates of any female and I will
tell you her future.

Science’s Garden of Eden, reductive world.
Google app shows her position on her Smartphone.
Ergo, red lipstick purchased today, tomorrow
black heels, for Christmas next year the complete
LorealParis makeup kit.

Cast from the cherry orchard by an angry god app,
she is perfectly type cast. In the 50s Beaver’s mom,
pancakes and syrup, Ward’s pearl necklace and martini
bearing wife. The 60s and the computer hums along
with the tune of find thyself. Gurus everywhere. Miniskirts
and the pill, science the father of planned parenthood,
feminine mystique taken backward from time.

70s and Gloria as the fairy godmother crunching poor
Cinderella. Makin the bacon and frying it too, she
could keep her job if knocked up, get a credit card
and read Ms. where Roe V. Wade shut down the
back alley.

80s…a total waste. Bad bands, Big Hair, spandex, MTV;
worse movies…The Big Chill, Flashdance, St. Elmo’s Fire.
Aids to put a damper on the urge, at least they had the
Berlin Wall.

90s, 2000s, basic clones, not much happening. Eve’s
emancipation pretty much complete, facing bad
second marriages, single parent families, the internet
to explain it all.

Newton’s clock still predicts, but…Chaos, confusion reign.
The machine metaphor does not satisfy. Middle age beckons
and Vegas covers the spread.


Ralph Monday has had over 200 poems published in literary journals and online literary sites. A chapbook, All American Girls and Other Poems was recently published, and a book Lost Houses and American Renditions is forthcoming from Hen House Press.



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