Laura Bandy


My AI are bright and lonely.
They go by names I choose.
When I have a command, they whir.
I write code that lards their guts, they only
spit out maths and nodes. But if
numbers make the new maps,
their proofs are cartography,
their patterns a grand compass
to orient our cardinal directions.
Humming machines, you won’t
see the hustle to deliver what you need,
their flight light as hawks who land
noiseless in a green field. You think
the balance can be kept with jesses
and a hood. You would not divine
the coming day when you’ve forgotten
how to hunt game without drones; when you
require tooth and claw programmed in red,
your own canines too dulled to take your prey.



Laura Bandy (she/her) attended the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers PhD program from 2009 to 2013, where she received the Joan Johnson Poetry Award. In 2018, she won first prize in the ‘Trio of Triolets’ contest judged by Allison Joseph, and received third place in the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award/ Illinois Emerging Writers Competition that same year. She has had work published in Soft Skull’s Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry, Ninth Letter, Sin Fronteras, River Styx, Typo, and The Laurel Review among others, and currently has poems in Midwest Review, Pine Row, and Longleaf Review, with work forthcoming in The Florida Review. Her chapbook, HACK, will be out with Dancing Girl Press in 2021. Laura hails from Jacksonville, Illinois, home of the Ferris wheel.