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Saturday, December 24, 2016


by Clara B. Jones 

Image source: Gawker

It's December so I bought lights brighter than the sallow skin of my guardian who is nice enough but never invites me to Christmas dinner since the five-year-old is afraid of robots. My surrogate said, On a scale of 1 to 5, how much would you like to spend the day at Starbucks®? I decided to walk because humanoids ask me personal questions when they corner me alone. Are you happy? Do you want a mate? Do you wish a mechanical family had adopted you? Starbucks® promotes diversity so no one stares when I order peppermint latte and a cranberry scone though a little girl in line called me, Tin Man®—a slight more amusing than offensive. Besides, I am superior to anyone here since my microchips are programmed with the complete works of Charles Dickens, and the Mayor invited me to play The Christmas Carol in the town square at six. My performance will be bot-streamed to my Facebook® page, and I have habituated to the bullying I receive in public since a technician dampened my sensory registers that should function well until my expiration date next year. The Mayor asked me, On a scale of 1 to 5, how close do you want to stand to the Wise Men? I pretended not to hear him since it sounded like a trick question.

Clara B. Jones is a retired scientist, currently practicing poetry in Silver Spring, MD (USA). As a woman of color, she writes about the “performance” of identity & power & conducts research on experimental poetry & radical publishing. Clara is author of three chapbooks, & her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous venues.