I hate the sound of the robots in the back room
Making love: the clang of metal on metal,
The squeal of furniture moving about the walls,
The straining of hooks, the embrace of cables,
The blue hiss of static charge building up:
Followed amiably by the harrowing crack of its sudden discharge.
I know about the mutual mapping of memory locations,
The synchronization of register paging.
These are not unsubtle robots:
They understand that replacement units
Come whole from the production line, ship
In a protective molding foam. They know
That in robot terms there is no him, there is no her.
My friends and I, sometimes a few beers toward
An agreeable stupor, wonder why they do it,
What motive there is in this act. Mostly we take bets
On how long the next session will last;
Whether, yet one more time, the walls
Can contain their mechanically overwrought electric attempts.
I have stopped buffing out the carnal
Scratches they make on each other.
I still sweep the metal shavings off the floor,
Put the room’s furniture back in place, fix
As best I can whatever is bent too close to busted.
Robots can be as maddening as they are useful,
As fascinating as they are diligent. And repetitive.
Soon I will have one of the new polymer models;
With the metal and nano-carbon frame filled in;
The access ports in very discreet places;
A skin that looks and feels and hums
Half-way human, seeming almost to breathe and sweat.
With pre-ordering, there is the option for male or female
Appearance. And appliance. They are all the rage and
Everyone is planning their own secret upgrades.
Maybe then I might find out what these elastic
Cybernauts, in their protected, persistent,
Hormone-less and dry memory cores,
Believe their issueless mating match is all about,
How the purposeless and pleasure-less pleases them.
— Ken Poyner
Ken Poyner’s collections of short fiction, Constant Animals and Avenging Cartography, and his latest collections of poetry, Victims of a Failed Civics and The Book of Robot, can be obtained from Barking Moose Press, www.barkingmoosepress.com. He serves as bewildering eye-candy at his wife’s power lifting affairs. His poetry lately has been sunning in Analog, Asimov’s, Poet Lore, The Kentucky Review; and his fiction has yowled in Spank the Carp, Red Truck, Café Irreal. www.kpoyner.com.
Editor’s Notes: The image to complement the innovative robot sex poem is from Discovery Magazine, http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/lovesick-cyborg/2015/09/17/a-call-to-ban-sex-robots/#.WnVNfpM-fow