Poem: Chips

More and faster computer chips, more and faster . . . and faster.


There in my paper, lost among the news
    of stuff readers actually value, attracted
    to a heightened surge of blood,
there’s an item announcing yet another chip,
    newly minted and its internal capacity
    dates this poem as surely as a time-capsule
One point six billion calculations in a second,
    as if we could conceive of that

Architects speak of less as more and are proven right
    by the structure of computer-chips
    and it’s a legacy of the mind in either case
But the mind is a different thing than calculation
    and we’re still Model T-ing with calculation
I’m not the first to wonder if we may outrun thought,
    bound into a dictatorship of zeros and ones,
    as if we could conceive of that

So there it is, tucked away in my paper,
    among the more popular wars and scandals
Still, man’s an old hand at making war,
    well taught in the art of scandal
    and such an untested and naive calculator
Zeros and ones may answer before they’re asked,
    these questions belonging to thoughtfulness,
    as if we could conceive of that
Poetry Collection: The Smell of Tweed and Tobacco
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman's
poetry collection


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