Linda Gregerson

(August 5, 1950 / Illinois)

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Ex Machina


When love was a question, the message arrived
in the beak of a wire and plaster bird. The coloratura
was hardly to be believed. For flight,

it took three stagehands: two
on the pulleys and one on the flute. And you
thought fancy rained like grace.

Our fog machine lost in the Parcel Post, we improvised
with smoke. The heroine dies of tuberculosis after all.
Remorse and the raw night air: any plausible tenor

might cough. The passions, I take my clues
from an obvious source, may be less like climatic events
than we conventionalize, though I’ve heard

of tornadoes that break the second-best glassware
and leave everything else untouched.
There’s a finer conviction than seamlessness

elicits: the Greeks knew a god
by the clanking behind his descent.
The heart, poor pump, protests till you’d think

it’s rusted past redemption, but
there’s tuning in these counterweights,
celebration’s assembled voice.

Submitted: Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Edited: Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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Comments about this poem (Ex Machina by Linda Gregerson )

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  • Freshman - 1,353 Points Kay Staley (10/3/2014 9:52:00 AM)

    I thought it may have at least referenced something similar to Dues Ex Machina, but apparently that is not the purpose of the poem... (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,353 Points Kay Staley (10/3/2014 9:51:00 AM)

    The heroine dies of tuberculosis after all. What a nice line. The best part of the poem to be sure. It made me laugh and brightened my day. I cant make sense of the rest of the poem, but that line is beautifully realistic and ironic. Definitely needs some clarity to the idea. Overall I would not consider it good. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 90 Points Liliana ~el (10/3/2013 5:45:00 PM)

    what doesn't make sense. spur of the moment decisions play out. remembrance. relations. life goes on. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 18,756 Points Gajanan Mishra (10/3/2013 8:34:00 AM)

    celebration's assembled voice, good write, thanks
    I request you to read my poems and comment
    Especially 'family members' and vote
    Link-www.poemhunter.com/contest-vote/family-members/ (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,391 Points Kevin Patrick (10/3/2012 9:40:00 PM)

    I love how every sentence seems to go down different turn’s ad avenues and I am never sure what way she is going to go. This could mean anything and its interpretation can be whatever the reader can see, it reminds me of Atwood but even more demented. It’s all in the title, as anyone knows it was conventional for Greek plays to have a supernatural being come in and act as a device to resolve the plot of stories, in other words contrived endings, for me this seems to be about the contrivances of relations but then that just one view point. Whatever it is Its beautifully composed (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Deci Hernandez (10/3/2012 3:33:00 PM)

    Talk about what should be perfect ends up being tortuous labor, a mess, but not giving up because of imperfections, concurring and enjoying the fruits of labor. i think. (Report) Reply

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