London Poetry Magazine –

"The Magnitude of a Trivial Conflict" by Vaishnavi Pusapati


Title image shows numerous pigeons perched on a bridge overlooking the Thames.

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Published January 15th, 2024

The Magnitude of a Trivial Conflict

by Vaishnavi Pusapati

"Your services will no longer be needed,"
said the pink slip on the 3D live email in the metaverse.
Downcast, we pleaded. We protested, but the Ministry of Revolution
classified our fight as a trivial conflict of interest, of no magnitude.
At first it was an AI program that corrected grammar,
then it suggested words and wrote novels and poems.
Then there was the self-driving truck, the automatic pilot,
and then just like that, it took my job too.
Mechanical arms farm the fields, milk the cows,
deliver babies that are crying already,
even as automatic solar cradles hush them.
We were iron, but rust got to us.
Now I tell my AI wife that I can't afford her upgrade.
So, the glitches that bother her, shall remain, to bother me.
Her despair defeats my hope with probability and statistical analysis.
She might get repossessed by the company that owns all of us.
She plays me ads so that I can afford to keep the fridge,
that shall leave the house on its wheel, should I miss the EMI.
Her synthetic suit shall have to wait, forever.
I think of taking up the junkyard shift, salvaging organs from old robots.
I shall have to fight with humans to work for robots.
Just yesterday an AI ran over his human maidservant.
Maybe I can become a test subject at the hospital,
where fancy sentient bots run me on a treadmill,
like a lab rat on a hamster wheel,
or volunteer at a zoo as a menagerie exhibit,
for foreign machines visiting, to touch and question and stare at.
This industrial revolution has made Sapiens into Neanderthals.

About the Poet
Vaishnavi Pusapati resides in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Read the poet's biography on Vaishnavi Pusapati's Artist Page.

This poem is included in Poetry World #8, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.

Previously published in London Poetry Magazine:
Transport for London (tfl)

by Migel Jayasinghe

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