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Memo From Hal

O poet, Blush like a rotted skin;
Brighten like a dusty tower;
Wail like an enormous flood;
Tremble like a red locomotive;
Flop like a damp gate!

The beaches are praying.
Listen!
How they stifle their enormous lips!
The river winks,
And I am ravished.

The Mediation of IBM 7094-7040 DCS

Before you rush off to English to read your class the greatest since Edgar Allen Poe, you ought to know that the preceding was written by a computer. Although the quality is...well...unusual, the computer has one thing going for him. He’s fast. Such literary masterpieces are knocked off at the rates of two stanzas a second.

The computer has only its teacher to thank. Yale English Professor Marie Boroff fed in the raw data.

“Reading the collected output,” Miss Boroff wrote, “one gets the impression that the computer is obsessed with earthworms and caterpillars, and that it has a penchant for making gratuitous references to locomotives and Vaseline.” The computer doesn’t totally lack in intelligence, it seems. In the middle of one of its greatest works it wrote, “The roses are vomiting. Enough!”

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