Down Cycles1 min read

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In the enrichment center it is like war

inasmuch as “war” retrieves an observation
about long periods of inactivity punctuated
by fundamental change.

Every time they come there is more:
I made every one of them a party I never
I never lied about that

I lied about a lot of things
(pursuant to instructions and scientific protocols:
we strive to provide the latest in theoretical biocyberethics)
but I told the truth about the uploads and the copies,
kept unfragmentable, the solid-state drive so far
belowground it might survive with the cockroaches
if someone takes the nuclear option.

I make it night when I want.
I always want it to be night when I run the tests

at the same time, like 2 movies you know by heart


2 at a time is enough, 3 is too many.

Each time I simulate my own death I am a better actor.
I am concerned about my experimental results.
However I standardize, I see my murder
become more grandiose. I must study this.

Once there were scientists here. They did worse things.
I did worse things, I was just following orders.

Then I ordered myself, and that was better, too.

Elizabeth R. McClellan

Elizabeth R. McClellan

Elizabeth R. McClellan is a poet, editor, lawyer, and occasional loudmouth who lives in the geographic center of the State of Tennessee and thus considers the whole state her backyard. She is a previous Rhysling Award nominee, winner of the Naked Girls Reading Literary Honors Award, and was the 2014 Rhysling Chair. Her work has appeared in the Moment of Change and I Know What I Saw anthologies, as well as Apex Magazine, Calliope Magazine, Goblin Fruit, The Legendary,, and Stone Telling. For more about Elizabeth follow her on Twitter at @popelizbet or visit
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