Happy Birthday to William S. Burroughs — American novelist, short story writer, satirist, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer.
In the future, everyone will be poor except the rich
In the future, everyone will have guns except the poor
In the future, everyone will be the color of cafe-au-lait
In the future, everyone will be beautiful
In the future, everyone will be obese
In the future, everyone will think they’re smart
In the future, everyone will be stupid
In the future, everyone will be happy
In the future, everyone will be angry
In the future, everyone will be sad
I have an update on that poem I was looking for.
I finally found a single reference to this poem, through Google Books, in The Columbia Granger’s guide to poetry anthologies, a book which is itself a listing and review of other books. The poem is called “Where the Neuter Computer Goes Click”, and it was contained in the anthology Of quarks, quasars, and other quirks: Quizzical poems for the supersonic age, edited by Sara Westbrook Brewton, John Edmund Brewton, and Quentin Blake, published in 1977. That’s not where I encountered it: as I mentioned, I read it in a literature textbook.
The anthology is out of print, but used copies are really cheap, so I went ahead and bought one.
When I was a pre-teen in the mid-1970s (I must have been nine or ten), the textbook for my English class had some great short stories, such as Harrison Bergeron and Who Can Replace A Man? One of the poems in it that still sticks with me was called The Neuter Computer. “The Neuter Computer says ‘tick’ / The Neuter Computer says ‘click’ / …”.
I have looked for that poem since, but have never found it — or any mention of it, anywhere. Even the mighty Google shrugs its shoulders at my query. Am I the only one who remembers this poem?