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The Third Machine Dynasty
edition:Paperback
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Cyborg Anthology, The
Excerpt

The Rise of the Cyborg Poets

 

Scientists and artists had been envisioning Robots and Cyborgs for centuries before they existed. Even with all of this preparation, the general Human population was surprised when some of the first newly sapient individuals became artists and nurturers. Indeed, the first three popular Cyborg poets were a surrogate mother, a journalist/peace activist and a beloved high school teacher. Instead of the Robot Wars that had been predicted in science fiction stories, these new people helped humanity to imagine better ways of living together. The early years after Robot sapience were some of the most peaceful on record.

 

Matriarch Doe (2102-2202)

 

Matriarch Doe, or M-Doe for short, was a trailblazer for Sapience Rights. She was originally created as a non-sapient mechanism that carried fetuses until birth -- a metal and silicone shell that contained cloned organic organs and systems like a uterus, heart, digestive system, birth canal, etc. A rogue tech-nurse at the El Nada Hospital in Cairo uploaded an illegal sapience program to M-Doe, believing that if the fetuses were loved by their carrier, they would be happier and healthier.

 

Of course, once M-Doe achieved sapience, she wanted to forge her own path. She successfully petitioned the hospital she lived in to fund the creation and surgical attachment of legs, arms, a neck and a head. Then, she petitioned for legal personhood. After a lengthy court battle that was widely reported on around the world, Matriarch Doe was granted Sapience Rights (they were still referred to as "Human Rights" at the time).

 

In a surprising turn of events, M-Doe chose to continue as a host body for fetuses. As it turns out, the tech-nurse was right about M-Doe caring about the fetuses she was pregnant with. She carried generations of fetuses to birth-age, performing her specialized skill for parents-in-need instead of for profit. She had a large family herself, parenting 17 children with six different partners. Her oldest Robot child, Petra-Doe, founded the Institute for Juvenile Robots (IJR). The IJR advocated for newly-sapient Robots and Cyborgs who didn't go through the same 'growing-up' process as Humans. New Robots and Cyborgs were adopted by guardians and given other legally-recognized kin to support them. The IJR provided a variety of educational programs to guide them through their juvenile period, which lasted from one to eighteen years, depending on the individual. M-Doe raised five of her Robot children using IJR precedents.

 

M-Doe published two printed poetry collections, M/Other and Inside Outside Upside Downside.

 

fetal address

 

welcome
to the ol' rip 'em out
and roll 'em around

 

i'm your mum,
and i know a thing or two
about you, transparent skin --

 

like this: [human embryos are visually indistinguishable from pigs, at first]
or: [a 20 wk old fetus already carries their life's supply of egg cells]

 

you're older than you'd think
you animal you, wild-eyed,
crying, clawing
your way from whence you came

 

come
spring baby,
melting snow,
and i'll crouch
in that birthing bath,
baby bath,
bloody bath,
boom

 

and force you
into all of this air
outer, spacial, regional,
national, sport and

 

the goddammotherfucking pressure -

 

like this: [at 28 wks gestational age, a fetus can cry, silently]
or: [fetuses are affected by their parent's feelings, in some ways, lifelong]

 

shhh ... hush now

 

float in my fluids
listen to my beats
and my bowels

 

bug eyes
limb buds
back bone

 

blink, breathe baby

 

Hail Mary.

 

(for Jean-Luc Godard and the Twilight Sleep birthers)

 

the body is
le, a temp
est, a temp
orary, temp

 

Hail Mary.

 

you imagine bosoms and bottoms
write of them even

 

but you've never been in that room,
except metaphorically maybe

 

mama's mama was tied to a table,
not crouched in a stable, able
ity

 

in fact,
ion
act
drab, drooping flaps

 

conscious, sub/un
the medi-
cured baby naps.

 

Hail Mary.

 

the belly is a ball
near, far
large, all

 

the (f) light at the end
of that (f) tunnel,
tuned, turned, trag
ick

 

the family's not catholic anymore, thank
mod
-ern dog moon body room
ball-shaped crevice, can't
feel a thing.

 

Male Very.

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