Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Learning Curves"

This poem came out of the April 5, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from aldersprig and wyld_dandelyon.  It was sponsored by janetmiles.

Learning Curves

They weren't good at publicity,
not at first,
and their people skills were below par,
but mad scientists
are nothing if not fast learners.

So Johnson went to the executives
and offered them market predictions
in exchange for money.
"You're a mad scientist," they said.
"I'm not a scientist, I'm an economist," he said.
"Science is too easy.  Stock markets are much more challenging."
Johnson was the best liar, and they bought it.

Morales went to the advertisers
and she offered them tips on mind control
in exchange for exposure and advice on branding.
"You're a mad scientist," they said.
"I'm not mad," she said, "just off-center of the bell curve."
Then she turned on her PowerPoint display.
The advertisers drooled and gave her everything she wanted.

Feng went to the politicians
and he offered them money in exchange for power.
"You're a mad scientist," they said.
He steepled his fingers and said very calmly,
"I'm not mad, I'm just a victim of bad PR."
Then he began unpacking bundles of cash.
The politicians leaned forward and licked their lips.

They met in a quiet little coffeehouse
where they ordered cappuccino, espresso, and Jolt cola.
"I'm bored," said Johnson.
"Everyone is hitting on me," said Morales.
"I keep wanting to wash my hands," said Feng.

"We could trade targets," said Johnson.
"We could do it blindfolded," said Morales.
"We could randomize the first play in every round," said Feng.

"Let's do all three!" said Johnson.
Morales giggled.  "He's really  bored."
"I'm game if you are," said Feng.

So the three mad scientists
brought out their smartphones
and protractors and compasses,
a pair of scissors,
and a copy of the Wall Street Journal.

Then they began to play.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, writing
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