Chicago Poetry Magazine –

"Zeroes and Ones" by Linda Imbler


Title image shows a nightime view of Buckingham Fountain in Chicago.

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Published May 1st, 2023

Zeroes and Ones

by Linda Imbler
(Wichita, Kansas, United States)

Will future robots carry the genes of past robot circuits within themselves?
All their actions,
governed by sensations and emotions they lack.
too circuitously egocentric to feel any empathy.
They are meddlesome robots,
with no parts adaptable.
They sit upon their honored throne of repetitive ideas,
continually harping on the same subjects.

There's familiarity among themselves for their group think,
a united array of platitudes,
intellectual relics carried forward
as routine inner analytical process,
mere mechanical memory.

Their unconscious rituals performed
as behavior determined by bits and bytes,
transmitting their balanced equations down to the smallest detail.

Let's not write odes to their clattering certainty,
their saucy pretentiousness,
only thought, but never felt.
Let's not offer idolatry to these lifeless gods.

We must avoid shirking the pulsation of our hearts.
We must believe in the idea of humanity's greatness,
and our own heritage,
even in the rapt joy of our slumbers,
we should feel the cadence of words spoken
between all living things.

Linda Imbler is the author of five paperback poetry collections and four e-book collections from Soma Publishing. This writer lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband, Mike the Luthier, several quite intelligent saltwater fish, and an ever-growing family of gorgeous guitars. Learn more at

This poem is included in Poetry World #6, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.

Previously published in Chicago Poetry Magazine:
Marengo, Illinois

by James Madigan

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