Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mr. Roboto

Mr. Roboto

From the afternoon on PBS “How things are made.”
Watched twice as it came on twice, (result of limited programming budget!)
Appropriately it would seem insomuch it’s about robots making things,
Over and over,
Everything it would seem…
Ball bearings, lost wax castings, and a slew of robot assemblies and shaping--
Candy, gasoline cans, plywood, fabric, so many things memory fails…memory chips!…
And this last segment a continuous collage set to jazz music…
Now, this fuels my suspicion that rock and roll, jazz, and the like…
Though cool, individually varied, and thought unique,
Are in truth the music of these robot machines,
Repetitive….not unlike I’d say my job putting food on shelves.
Old rock and roll plays from the ceiling speakers all day,
A sound track for my work like the sound track jazz for the robotics.

From the evening on PBS the story of Jonestown in Guyana,
The religious cult and its suicidal end, the murders of the congressman Ryan
And his fact finding entourage, told through the eyes of a handful of survivors---
A sound track of moody music like CSI Miami.
Everyday Jim Jones told the news from speakers on poles to his followers.
The only news of the outside world to come to their jungle redoubt.
Congressman Ryan wanted to know if members could leave,
A few said they couldn’t in secret messages to him.
Jones, confronted, said, “They can leave.” But in truth his hold was such
That children would inform on parents who wanted to leave.
It was Hotel California…no one can leave.
Some of this I’ve seen in History…
A young Castro in Cuba would go on television hours on end,
And leaving Cuba has been problematic for fifty years!
Castro methods derived from Nazi Germany.
A conspiracy killed Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy,
Jones told his followers,
A repetitive refrain…a snare to make the government of the people a predatory villain.
For Hitler it was the Jews…which the net has given nourishment..
The Serpent Conspiracy…
Joy was in Jonestown, the people sang,
As they did in Nazi Germany…
And the fascist songs of Mussolini’s Italy—
Collections of songs composed in the Jewish concentration camps are being compiled,
Whole operas and symphonies written down on tissue…
They sang in hope and determination…

We can’t leave Iraq
We’re told again and again and again,
Like one of those blessed robotic machines in its dance to Jazz.

Today in the news all traffic in Baghdad is forbidden,
Machines at a standstill!!
And there was a protest parade…
They tore the Stars and Stripes, and to get Uncle Sam’s goat
Made a carpet of the flowery flag
And then trampled across it.
Arabia has a kind of genius for insults…

They don’t understand, we can’t leave,
And the Congressmen are at great risk.

And from the San Francisco Chronicle
A Jewish partisan of the war in the Polish forests
Has come forward with her story as a teen…
She’s 82.

A few survivors relate the tale still…

Oh! Newspapers…that was in the robotic segment too…
How fast the pages printed collated folded.
I unfold the Chronicle, remove my glasses in scorn of bifocals,
And put my nearsighted eyes a few inches from the print at lunch and break…
The tourist’s hubbub, hubbub. emptying the shelves, surrounds me,
And rock and roll sings from the ceiling speakers.

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