Open 2024 Poems - Peter Magliocco


A Robot Brings Flowers
By Lorna Wood


A robot bringing flowers to a first date might say something like:


“Good evening [Name], I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I’ve brought you these beautiful flowers as a small gesture to brighten your day and to express my excitement about our first date. I’m looking forward to getting to know you better and creating some special memories together. Shall we continue with our plans for the evening”

(ChatGPT, personal communication, Sept. 30, 2023)


Maybe it was because she had heard him making the same pitch at every other door on her hallway. Or because he was lit from the side, which made him seem mysterious. Maybe it was because something went wrong this time, and he stuttered out “p-p-p-plans for the e-e-e-evening as if he were nervous. Or because the hand she could see looked human.


Maybe it was because she wanted to kiss his ear-muff ears and make his mouth crack smile, or because he called her “Name,” and she was excited to make one up, become a new person. Or because his blank eyes seemed to look into her, finding an answering emptiness he was trying to fill with big yellow flowers.


Whatever the reason, and even though they had no “plans for the evening” to “continue,” she took the flowers, then the humanoid hand. “These are lovely,” she said. “I’m Hotfix. Please come in.”


Lorna Wood is from US. Describing her debut poetry collection, The Great Garbage Patch (Alien Buddha Press), Andrew Taylor, of Nottingham Trent University, says, "She writes with a passion seldom on offer in modern poetry....This is a bold and inspiring collection. A superb collection. Lorna Wood is fast becoming one of my favourite poets." Wood's poetry has appeared in the US, the UK, South Africa, India, and Australia. She has also published fiction, creative nonfiction, and scholarly essays.


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