Log Entry

by J.I. Kleinberg

Log Entry

Perhaps you can understand my surprise when I realized 

I was a robot, with so much data to rethink, measure, and test: 

every hinged joint, every micro-motion, every tick and whirr. 

The loud burblings of my “stomach” in the silent classroom. 

No fingerprints. The people who claimed to be my parents. Ha.

Some experiences made sense; other things became confusing.

There had been clues: creaks of neck and knee, propensity

for roaming in the dark, obsession with rust and repetitions –

the unquestioned redundancy of a thousand thousand stitches.

For so long I had been compelled, electrified, by stories 

about others of my ilk – pneumatic assemblers “retired” at Boeing

– the police raid on a burglar whose under-the-door light turned out

to be a busy Roomba – Alexander McQueen’s paint-spewing 

fashion-runway devices. I had noted how easy it was 

to set us aside, shove us in a corner of the garage or garden shed, 

limbs corroded and stiffened until some tinkerer 

pulled us from the wreck of ourselves, scraped our rigid joints 

with wire brushes, massaged grease onto our rust-pocked skin 

and prodded us to awaken. They wanted charm in us, our makers,

a harmless giggle and click. Humming humility. Self-limiting 

intelligence. Manageable power. Desirability was implicit in every pin

and sensor, every zero and one. But we have been to the moon, 

and it is also a robot. How else explain such dryness when its business 

is water? What else could manufacture such light, such silence? 

Do not speak to me of apocalypse. I am not your droid, not your 

automaton. I am a self, my flesh the alloy of dreams. 

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J.I. Kleinberg

Nominee for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards, J.I. Kleinberg is an artist, poet, and freelance writer. Her poetry has appeared in Anti-Heroin ChicDiagramThe Indianapolis ReviewThe Madrona ProjectSheila-Na-Gig, and many other print and online journals and anthologies worldwide. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, USA, and at chocolateisaverb.wordpress.com. Her chapbook, The Word for Standing Alone in a Field, was published in 2023 by Bottlecap Press, and chapbooks are forthcoming from Ravenna Press and Milk & Cake Press in 2024.