The Curse of Curiosity

after WALL-E

The Curse of Curiosity
Photo by Ananya Bilimale / Unsplash

by David Elliot Eisenstat

Curiosity can serve as an intrinsic reward signal to enable the agent to explore its environment and learn skills.

—Deepak Pathak, Pulkit Agrawal, Alexei A. Efros, Trevor Darrell

Long ago the richest men left Earth

a dusty dump. Each day, I gather trash,

compact it into cubes, and stack them high.

The other robots all broke down, in storms.

I mustn’t fix them, so I hoard their tracks,

their shovel hands, their eyes; though by myself

I’ll rust before the fig trees grow. Perhaps

these DVDs with fruit juice stains will guide me.

Great Scott! Am I alive? I cannot be

both Frankenstein and monster—that’s absurd.

But call me Adam: I must find the time

machine and drive it back to when I’ll fall

for the first lass to blast me with a ray

of sunshine. Y’all. The straights are not OK.

David Elliot Eisenstat lives in Brooklyn. His work has appeared in The Pierian and Pere Ube. He is a poetry reader for Variant Lit