Aaron Kunin


"But how can the machine know what the soul is, and how can it begin to remember?
"As the machine cannot dance, as the machine cannot hear the voice or see the word, how can it begin to suppose that there is a pleasure in the mind yet more dear? And that all other pleasure is just a great sore, and not to be demanded?"
Out of the mind once more, my soul;
As you were talking to yourself,
All will narrow
To a word within, at last, a word.

A word within a word, weeping
For a word, and sounded then
Like rats in the eyes of desire.

A word ... a word that will last
Longer, and cast about as I can.
The machine let out a whine,
"Keep it to yourself'. . .

Oh to be a machine ... to say
A word, and not to mean
By it. Then, to mean all ...
As a boy may have

A change of mind;
And the earth contains you.
And god contains the earth.
A machine contains that —

Maybe there is no word for it—
All-knowing, all-seeing:
A machine, therefore.
May I say another word about it:

The will to change,
Into a god!—

To change one word into you-know-what.
To change the soul into a machine
Of yourself, and rats into rats
Of the mind. The will to remember:

Out of desire, a word is sounded,
For it is the will of god,
All-knowing, all-seeing, and so on.
—Remember who was good and kind to you

When god would not let you have
So much as a damn.
But don't.

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