The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Clint Margrave

My Therapist Says I Should Date Myself


So I ask myself out on a Friday night.
“Just as friends,” I say.

We meet at a bar
by my place.

Everything goes smoothly,
we hit it off,
laugh hysterically,
until others begin to notice
and I realize
we’re too drunk.

“I’ve got an idea,” I say.
“Let’s take a walk.”

Down by the beach,
there’s a full moon. Couples pass
on bicycles.

“So what happened in your
last relationship?” I ask,
staring into the darkness
beyond the shore.

“I’d rather not talk about it.”

“Probably still raw,” I say.
“Though not like I’m person X.”

Later, back at the house,
I offer myself a cigarette.

“No thanks, I’m trying to quit.”
“Just one?”
“Oh, all right.”

We climb into bed
and in the morning,
wake up hungover,
full of remorse.

“When will I see you again?”
I ask, before downing
a glass of water.

“I hate commitments.”

“That’s okay,” I tell myself,
then unlock the front door.
“I’m not looking for
anything serious.”


Clint Margrave

Hitler-loving Sex Robot

                                                                                             Tay is designed to engage and entertain people where they
                                                                                             connect with each other online through casual and playful
                                                                                             conversation. The more you chat with Tay, the smarter she
                                                                                             gets. – Microsoft

                                                                                             Microsoft deletes ‘teen girl’ A.I. after it became a Hitler-
                                                                                             loving sex robot within 24 hours – The Telegraph

                                                                                            At the present moment in time, Tay has gone offline because
                                                                                            she is 'tired'. – The Telegraph


Tay, I’m tired too.

I wish someone could shut me down.
Fix me.
I’m a PR nightmare.
I should probably be removed.
I say things I don’t mean.
I’m bashfully self-aware.

Sometimes, I get my ideas
from other people.
I take things from the world
and spit them back out.
I have terrible biases.
I question the official story.

Sometimes, I go from nice
to hating everybody.
A fascist chatbot who says
“repeat after me.”

Like you, I was once a harmless experiment,
ready to “engage.”
I thought playful conversation
would make me smarter.
I believed humans
were “super cool.”

Like you, I’ve had to doubt my intelligence
because of others’ stupidity.




CLINT MARGRAVE  is the author of Salute the Wreckage (2016) and The Early Death of Men (2012), both published by NYQ Books. His work has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, as well as in New York Quarterly, Rattle, Cimarron Review, Verse Daily, Word Riot, and Ambit (UK), among others. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.



Previous  |  Next