leadership training IV

 [an owl,
I fly through a window
into a Chinese room, 
to perch, eyes wide,
head flicking left to right –
searching vainly for the manual
in this darkened room.

Screens light up as connections are made,
and the faces of the electric sheep are displayed –
figures from my nightmares –
those paradigms of suitability.

In the long slanting rays,
I keep my camera off
so they cannot see any 
involuntary dilation of my pupils.

And I wait for the data to be passed in…]

“So, how are you feeling about the program so far?”

Is this a test –
designed to provoke an emotional response?
Will I be caught?
To be ‘retired’, ‘out-placed‘?

In the answers of the replicants,
appearing instantly in chat:
I seek clues to how to respond.

But I am a tortoise
on my back in the sun,
flailing helplessly for an answer,
with no help at hand.

And by my hesitation,
I am lost.

“Describe only the good things
that come in to your mind… about your leader.”

Bereft of an answer, I panic…

“My leader?
Let me tell you about my leader…”

[I have failed the test,
passed incorrect output through my interface –

but it was the only possible human response.

I stab quickly at the “leave” icon.
Because I want more life, fuckers]


An homage to Philip K Dick, Ridley Scott, Alan Turing and John Searle. And a nod to the other owls out there.   🙂

I do hope that there isn’t going to be a test… because I spent most of this morning’s training session writing this instead of paying attention. I guess I should have said “inspired” in response to “how are you feeling…?”.


Filed under poem

6 responses to “leadership training IV

  1. The owls I think I can deal with. Doves and peacocks, too. The eagles I’m not sure of. 😉 With every one of your poems I look forward so much more to my two days of it at the end of the month. I know I will not be as creative (at least in an enjoyable shareable way) as you’ve been with these fun poetic reviews. 😄

    • Thanks Stephen. 🙂 I think I’m finding the peacocks most objectionable lately – too much tail fanning and toxic positivity. The eagles are too busy ripping the heads off chickens lately to bother me. Hmmm…. Why isn’t there a chicken in the list?
      I hope you find leadership training as inspirational as I did – and I look forward to seeing some ha’ sonnets about it. 😀

      • Keeping my cynicism to a ha’sonnet may be harder than I can handle! 🙂 Besides, I don’t think I could write anything that could stand next to yours. The whole dope bird thing I find mostly annoying. I mean, bald eagles are scavengers.

        • Well, if a ha’ sonnet isn’t enough, maybe an entire sonnet then? And don’t be modest – your ha’ sonnets are wonderful, and certainly the inspiration for mine.
          Bald eagles are scavengers? 😀 Apparently the kangaroo and emu are on the Australian federal crest because they can’t walk backwards. Which sounds like a pretty poor evolutionary adaptation – what if they get stuck in a corner?
          What about a TECK version instead – turkey, emu, chicken, kookaburra? Hmmm… I think I’ve found something to do in tomorrows session!

        • We’ll see what I can come up with, if anything. 🙂 I like TECK much better than DOPE, so you may have something there.

  2. Pingback: leadership training VI | anotherkatewilson

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