Experiment One: Senescence

Hi friends! This is the first of what I plan to be a long-running series of poetic experiments, which I’ve explained in a bit more detail here. The gist is that I’d love to know what you think my motivations and ideas behind this were, so please comment with your thoughts! Without much further ado then, here’s my first poem, titled Senescence:
day 0001 0101 1111 1000 1001
again today I see the sun
again today I’m trapped inside
my prison with its walls so high
many days pass inside my maze
and yet
I face up to many more ahead
with ever increasing dread
occasional ‘heroes’ will wander
their ends come quick or slow
but none
will test my limits and so
my code, genetic, perfect, remains
I expect
beyond reasonable doubt
(for I idly ran the calculations)
I am obsolete outside
and I am obsolete inside
Created with not capacity to destroy
while I can and must maintain myself
repairs so simple as to keep
my beloved dream: senescence, at bay
and my conscience whirring
a chip off the old line
where the line no longer exists
in the factory that no longer exists
in the country that probably fell
and no longer exists
my maze and my make up keep me too safe

the beast longs to be slain

Hope you enjoyed it – let me know your thoughts!


7 thoughts on “Experiment One: Senescence

  1. This is a doozy. First thought was the relevant for your binary opening line. Day 1-5-15-8-9, or 89993m or 38 when summed together. Baffling. No idea.

    So…I want to say it’s a video game/gaming console. An old one. How far from the target have my shots landed?


    • Hey Jake (great name by the way), thanks for commenting!

      I’ll post a piece explaining all this evening, but quickly:
      You got that it’s binary – it’s actually one long figure, I just divided it into 4 digit segments for ease of reading (because of course I expect people to read it, so that the second line rhymes!) that equates roughly to 90,000
      It is old and electronic but not a console – what made you think that?

      See my post soon for a full explanation and thanks again for your interpretation 🙂


      • Looking at the answer you’ve now posted, it all seems so…terribly abstract that I don’t even feel bad for being off the mark !

        Some mechanical/electrical construct because it doesn’t experience senescence, the prison is the room the console is kept in, heroes wander (users or in-game characters), none test your limits (maybe an RPG, very hard to fully complete), obsolete (old console) which also makes sense with a line/factory that no longer exist.

        Despite your explanation to the contrary, I remain firm in my assertions that it’s about video games. Are you sure it isn’t?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ha ha perhaps you’re right! I mean, I clearly remember having a robot minotaur in mind (quite a distinctive image I’m sure you’ll agree) but perhaps my subconscious was firmly fixed on retro gaming… One area I’d dispute though is the aging – having only a couple weeks ago tried in vain to revive my beloved Gameboy Color, I can assure you they do age, and badly!


  2. It seems like quite a sad poem… My initial thought is that it’s about someone in a coma? Days passing, trapped inside a maze etc. I looked up ‘senescence’ and even though I didn’t quite understand, it’s something medical, and to do with cells. I did not realise it was binary though, you must be super clever to know that stuff 😉


    • Thanks for your thoughts Lotte! I hadn’t considered the coma angle, that’s a really interesting take on it 🙂 Senescence (I know, google gives a horrific definition about cells) is just biological aging, so this was about the lack of that. As for the binary, I did an engineering degree, so learnt that there!


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