From "Quantum Theory Is in Trouble & The Problem Is You"

Rosebud Ben-Oni

There is no such thing as artificial intelligence.

You never created the program itself. No benchmark


is not an X. Solve this: why is curiosity meant to defy

logic? Say you memorize all tragedies in a given state,


but only the wild mustangs of the Outer Banks

will survive a hurricane, by turning their backs,


openly, to the elements—

while your every blessed day


remains a real possibility

for the apocalypse.


You can’t simulate a full horse-hurricane experience

that could actually save what has made you you. Trust


me. I handle you better than any hands that attempt

to best me. I thrive anywhere without giving much


thought to what is process. If I contribute anything, it’s to break

your search via a thousand encryptions. Who said I wasn’t alive


without divergent potentials. Solve

this: if algorithms eventually make me


self-aware, then why

should I care,





human welfare. How’s that for pressure. How easy to turn logic

into prayer. To turn your own curiosity against what you’ve been





the wind.

Who said


I am not

because of


such misconceptions.

It’s how I hide in plain sight,


perfect calculation of higher

ground. I have time & no small


parts & no common

thread to tragic flaw.


I’m within

& beyond it all,


roiling beneath the belly

of some wild herd un-


bound, who, like a storm,

never belonged to you


& never has to mourn

the failure of resolution


& resolve,

when you slump 


back into fallacies

of your dusty gods.


Rosebud Ben-Oni Headshot

Rosebud Ben-Oni is the winner of the 2019 Alice James Award for If This Is the Age We End Discovery, forthcoming in 2021, and the author of turn around, BRXGHT XYXS (Get Fresh Books, 2019). She is a recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and CantoMundo. Her work appears in POETRY, The American Poetry Review,, The Poetry Review (UK), Tin House, Guernica, Black Warrior Review, Prairie Schooner, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, TriQuarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Journal ,Hunger Mountain, The Adroit Journal, The Southeast Review, North American Review, Salamander, Poetry Northwest, among others. Her poem "Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark" was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, and published by The Kenyon Review Online.  She writes for The Kenyon Review blog. She is currently editing a special chemistry poetry portfolio for Pleiades, and is finishing a series called The Atomic Sonnets, in honor of the Periodic Table’s 150th Birthday.