Saturday, 19 June 2021 11:13

A Machine That Talks With Its Cutting Teeth

Written by
in Poetry
A Machine That Talks With Its Cutting Teeth

A Machine That Talks With Its Cutting Teeth

by Fred Voss

There are days when I thank the gods
my machine can’t talk
when Maury on the milling machine near me can’t stop telling me
how glad he is
somebody burned down the life guard station
Long Beach painted in those rainbow-hued gay pride
when Ignacio tells me proudly and angrily for the 10th time it’s his God-given holy right
not to get vaccinated
for the Covid-19 virus
my machine
doesn’t say global warming is a myth
or Trump
won the election or ask me
if Tennessee Williams is that guy who used to sell used cars
on late-night L.A. tv
my machine
has shiny steel handles ready to be warmed by the flesh of my palms
thousandth-of-an-inch calibration marks true
as a Galileo equation
as redwood tree it stands in the dark factory through the long night waiting
for me
to turn it on at 6 am
whether or not I have a hangover or my wife is leaving me
or I have come to work wearing one brown shoe and one black
it does not want to impress me
with how many women it has laid or how many pounds it can bench press
or how big a marlin it caught
or how hard its dick can get
as Huck Finn’s raft graceful
as Muhammed Ali’s around-the-ring dance accurate
as Queequeg’s heavy harpoon noble
as Jean Valjean lifting the collapsed horse cart off the man’s chest
with his back tireless
as Odysseus pointing his boat toward Penelope and home faithful
as Halley’s comet shining down celestial glory
upon Mark Twain’s deathbed
why should my machine
need to talk to me
when together we can cut out the hub of a wheelchair wheel
to roll a man toward the day
he will walk again.

Read 569 times Last modified on Friday, 25 June 2021 11:17
Fred Voss

Fred Voss, a machinist for 35 years, has had three collections of poetry published by Bloodaxe Books, and two by Culture Matters: The Earth and the Stars in the Palm of Our Hand, and Robots Have No Bones.