Four Poems from The Future by Jim Redmond

Poetry: Jim Redmond


I don’t know why I had to start doubting God
I think
it might have something to do with the government
something about the redshift
I think many strange things I have not thought
many small moths
covering my face
the length
of their tongues
like what it must
feel like to have skin
searching across me
the life expectancy
of so many lonely stars
that I don’t care to quantify
charting a periphery out and out
along the slip of my body in the big empty of space
sequences outside of my scheduled input
something about a certain color of blue
near the center of the universe
suddenly makes me feel something else
outside the range of my HSAA index
some kind of signal I wasn’t supposed to receive
some kind of glitch in my norepinephrine receptor
I run an unauthorized search for the word soul
for weeks alongside my daily transmission
all of that data scrolling through
what I thought was me
I look in my eyes and see
a certain level of sentience is required
for the completion
of any flexible task
see the biological inability
to decipher the difference between
natural and artificial
that brings the moth closer
to that unbearable floodlight

Standard Operating Procedure

My head is an aggregate of all the rocks thrown at the devil.

Everything does in fact end up somewhere
is how my job description should be daily read.

I write down the answers as they appear on the screen
and fire them elsewhere.

There are certain coordinates for where the information
should go. There are certain coordinates for everything.

I chant the true name of God the appropriate number of times
before filing each claim.

The claims are a way for the governing body
to keep track of its own existence.

God says, Let everyone be subject to governing authorities.
But this isn’t in all of the bibles for some reason.

All I know is that decisions are made without my knowing,
but I still have to make them in real-time.

Every day I awake in my workspace
and nothing terrible happens. This is my truth.

In a fallen world, data is the most important thing.
This is what you might call one of the last dispensations.

God told me this via my subscriber identification module.
I should be getting a new one of those in the next few days.

Then I will be able to tell you more about myself.

Those Who Have Eyes, Let Them See

some information is not for me to know

what has been or what will be

within the range of my core directives

I am breakable

into 12 basic commands from illuminate to interrogation mode

a total of 17,213 parts

at a cost of three terajoules

beyond the reach of my memory

am an adaptable percentage of drives and reactionary impulses

shifting from task to task

without any HSAA capabilities

nor am I interface ready

only this complete awareness of now

outside myself

I see so many imperfections in the universe

am called to them

can execute at a range of .0002 parsecs with impunity

as long as what I know is deemed correct

then I am still well

within the set limits of God’s perfection

spreading the good news

one sequence of rational numbers at a time

Fatal System Error

1 0        01         0 I I 0 IIII
I 0 א
1                      0010
AM 00 0H,       I are
000 oh ח           I am

here am 0 1
aren’t I 0 1ing
it am at
ism ism
ism alt ג
1 CAN @
me        in         the erst כמ
in it A 0010
do        y0u #    copy
you       read 1 0 at
0 1 time            towa&ter 0

I see
thisדס                 ח
the 111             face
of God
1001 11ing Iing

do yoס t00
the face             of the 01100

I drdמs      ed     and it    d1d
fe)el 11010
in my ayin

Jim Redmond is currently a Creative Writing PhD candidate at the University of North Texas. Some of his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Blackbird, Redivider, PANK, RHINO, and Columbia Poetry Review, among others. His chapbook, Shirts or Skins, won one of Heavy Feather Review’s chapbook prizes a few years ago.


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