"Machines Like Us" is part love story, part dreamscape, part exploration of self. This surreal and disjointed novella-in-verse follows its characters (the speaker, Boy, and Historian) as their acts of love and violence become indistinguishable. For these characters, love is dangerous, disorienting, self-erasing, traumatizing. Identities blur. Memories muddle. Bodies change. It becomes difficult for them to understand themselves as individuals without first investigating the boundaries separating each from the other: there is no way to tell us / apart there is no way to know / whose hand is at the camera
Throughout the book, the speaker, Boy, and Historian struggle to connect and disconnect, to tether and un-tether, to survive, to make sense and meaning in and out of their relationships with each other. They are terrified to be both with and without each other, and the resulting horror the blood, the broken bodies, the decay, the changing faces becomes a landscape the characters can t shake.
About the Author
Joshua R. Helms is assistant editor for "Corium Magazine." Their work has appeared in various online journals, including alice blue review, DIAGRAM, Ghost Ocean Magazine, ILK Journal, PANK, and Word Riot, and various print journals, including "Copper Nickel, Fairy Tale Review, Gertrude, New England Review, Phoebe," and "Sonora Review." They live in Brattleboro, VT.