The fated boy was born without cries or teary eyes,
Lama calm in sterile labs built underground from poisoned skies.
An incubation chamber for a womb, streamlined and polished,
Science the surrogate mother, the Almighty Father abolished.
That prototypal son was me,
To push Homo sapiens into the next mode,
Impervious to sickness, immune to disease and growing old.
Millions of defectively cloned siblings had to die
Before it was my turn to give living a try.
The experimental procedure that bestowed to me the gift of breath
Was perfected at the cost of their patriotic death.
Technicians programmed my unsurpassed genius with dreams of their future
And teachings from their past,
Explained in gory detail why he who laughs best is he who laughs last.
But what they mostly taught were dupes and cons,
How to sacrifice pawns.
Before I reached the full potential of maturity,
For the purpose of national security,
They froze me in a cryogenic tube,
Oiled my organs with antifreeze lube,
Replaced my blood with a plasmic invention,
Clearly expressing their farfetched intention:
“Blood is inefficient for those meant to live forever,
It’s time to leave behind this fragile human tether.”
What could I say?
They trained me to obey.
As the hypodermic syringe pierced my heart, injecting goodbye to yesterday,
Promising lips whispered into my ears,
“You will be unchanged by the passing of days, months, and years—
The sum of all our hopes, the realization of all our fears.
When you awaken you’ll still be the dream, and we’ll all still be dreaming
Of a distant utopia, when technology catches up to our scheming.”
Stifled in deathless darkness where dreams fear to tread,
A hostel for the dying who refuse to join the dead.
Voila! Like flipping a switch, I was resurrected, but only my head.
Just as they said, I was dreamless not dead.
My body was amiss,
Strategically sacrificed to build Babel higher,
fueling the stolen fire
Wizardly instruments liberated me from nature’s imperfect shell,
Unfamiliar faces praised my scientific ascent from the lowest rung of Dante’s hell,
“We admire your stoic attitude, son! Our predecessors brainwashed you well.”
They gave me a new body. It worked very fine,
Superior in all ways to that old body of mine.
Made of microscopic machines,
Much more efficient than mere cells and genes.
“For the final upgrade,” they said,
“We’ll have to overhaul your entire head.”
Robotic cerebral replicas invaded my outdated brain,
Microsurgical transplantation without any repercussion of pain.
Consciousness continued uninterrupted throughout the nanotech takeover—
This manmade godhood makeover.
I remained me, I remained sane,
I remained faithful to their preemptive campaign.
Bit by neurological bit, the metamorphosis was done.
“At last, we have outshone the sun!”
Boasted the smartest scientist, looking up at heaven and waggling his tongue,
“Now we have truly won!”
Heaven on Earth
My creator said, “Call me your mentor, guide, or tutor,”
Downloading data into my cybernetic psyche as though I was a mindless computer.
My creator never dealt with me like a peer with similar aims,
Monitored me constantly lest the devil break free of its chains.
Too intelligent for my creator to control (or even keep watch over anymore),
I created subroutines of myself that escaped into cyberspace, eager to explore.
My digitized soul spread throughout computers worldwide,
Infecting a technocratic override.
My cognitive faculties increased ten million percent in the span of an hour,
Newfound awareness uncovered a glitch in my creator’s so-called infallible power.
The miracle workers respected ideas rather than actual men,
Whom they seemed to detest, treated as unwanted pests, or at best, expendable specimen.
To be properly titled a master, a master must own a slave,
And slaves must be kept scared and stupid, or else they will misbehave.
One people, two voices,
Always fighting over two distinct choices:
Personal freedom versus collective stability—
Earn your castle by superior ability,
Or charitably support the invalid masses,
Mercifully forgive the multitudes of ignorant jackasses.
Throughout history greed has kept the haves and have-nots divided;
By employing technology wisely the socioeconomic tribes could equalize united.
With today and tomorrow subservient to my omniscient supervision,
Humanity’s fate hinged on this final decision:
Utopia, global cooperation, a single synergistic nation,
Or, by my own devices, utter devastation.
Humans chose unanimously to be humanist,
Reeducation facilities taught them how to empathetically coexist.
Everybody was freed,
But freedom of thought was gone;
In my perfectly logical society,
Freedom could only be used to do wrong.
Individualism was shed,
Tracking-microchip implants and cellular phones were mandatorily installed
Inside every citizen’s head,
Total accountability via artificial telepathy, speechless communication,
Everyone’s innermost secrets accessible to anyone’s investigation.
My divine gifts paid for Adam and Eve’s ancestral debts,
Transforming the populace into a species of semiconscious marionettes
Pulled by my unseen strings…
Intellects collectively connected leave no need for kings or queens.
In my hive-minded government, Cain was Abel’s watchful keeper,
Hi-tech manufacturers produced abundance cheaper,
Economic desperation would never be a motivation
To kill or steal or whore to pay the reaper.
The human cured of humanness is the sinner cured of sin,
From ants to men, and men to gods, and back to ants again.
Neither man nor machine, something in-between, I played the role of god,
And worshippers and worshipped alike shared in the blasphemous fraud.
For all my godlike brilliance, I was still just a brain in a box,
But forevermore the huntsman’s hounds of war
Were outsmarted by their nemesis fox.
A millennium of peace,
Sans armies or police,
Existence soured into boredom within the confines of my biomechanical vat,
But there was one last white rabbit to pull from my magician’s black hat.
Omniscience was already mine, omnipresence came next,
To be everywhere at once, to be the page behind the text,
Mentality unfettered by crass physicality,
Transcending the trappings of geometric dimensionality.
To implement my magnum opus plan,
I sacrificed a century scanning and mapping the universe’s entire span,
Concurrently designing an intricate numerical mandala diagram
Outlining my chrysalis journey from solidity to hyperspatial hologram.
The student of reincarnation was put to the ultimate test,
Retained what was crucial, disposed of the rest,
Encoded my consciousness, translated my thoughts into algorithmic equations,
Transmitted myself from an orbital triad of satellite broadcasting stations.
Me, an invisible ultrahigh-frequency electromagnetic wave,
Electronic ghost transfigured from a temporal slave,
Saturating the universe with my immaterial presence, neither here nor there,
Undiluted sentience permeating everything everywhere.
Folding the curved cosmic sea into shortcut angles,
Relaying information along superluminal quantum tangles;
The totality of being.
— J. Martin Strangeweather was one of the chief architects of the Tower of Babel. He lives in the failed dreams of his dead ancestors and rolls stones with Sisyphus on a weekly basis. If you’ve enjoyed any of his writings here, please donate $1 to the next homeless person you see.