Three Prose poems inspired by the Q System One – the first commercially-available quantum computer. A cryogenically cooled, 20-qubit system hanging in a sealed glass case. It represents the dawn of a new and borderline-incomprehensible computing age, rife with odd concepts such as superposition, speeds faster than light and temperatures approaching absolute zero.

It is a field that promises huge leaps in the capability of computers, and is beginning to deliver glimpses of its potential. In approaching this first quantum product with design and aesthetics in mind, IBM has created a strange and compelling anomaly. The following prose poems are an attempt to convey some of the mystery and wonder of this field, from the mathematical concepts to the aesthetics, and seem to have ended up as part love-poem and part Haynes-manual (with a smidgeon of song).

Part III is chiefly concerned with acoustics.


Sing to me

You could be my sanity

Bring me peace

Sing me to sleep †


At the very bottom of Q, in its home room, an atom finally rests, cries “hark, cryostat”, for its parent now is a cold-discipliner, pushing to stillness this profoundly small thing, as all the smallest things are – resistant to calm or to breakage …one needs a seat in hellish cold and one will let loose from its maw some amounts of excelsior heat.

The effort of stilling Q to milli-kelvin from zero, which is absolutest, is akin to lifting Montmartre with a child arm, if Montmartre was a suburb farm of doom-laden chemical. 

And all this effort creates a sound, which has distinct filigree of richness, sweet as you’ll ever know, showing in the electricity bills out of sight, which to the money seers = despair and to the utility company, delight.

Like any lab it is bright white, and as the nightingale floor at Kyoto does, it slips out bird squeaks in unison from the best-left-unknown.


This quantum home-room contains ingredients so weird it may forever remain uneaten by human beings. Sexy sexy wiring chutes you cannot get pleasure from, just a dedication inherent among those cable and flute to suppress the heat of living and create, perhaps, a new living thing, just as each vacuum tube of CAINE began long ago to make sums by warming up home-rooms beyond the limit of within.

And now everything is reversed, we seek not heat but the silent opposite. Strange that either end of hell is where the future is.


Those first computer home-rooms grew in underground halls, squirrelled away under lime lights with panels in royal air force blue and some so big they went beyond the word room into something bigger – a hall, a walk, a tomb.

They were miracles – the first sign of the blood moon subsuming the off-white, too soon to even notice it, and then boom! We have so much in every chip, holding tidal models and medical degrees, several things in-between, but behind the shimmery curtain hung there is much more than binary.

Classical computers were just fooling us. Please don’t do that, just bring me peace, she done sung.


No fooling can happen before 8am. It’s one of the oldest rules, the brain awake before all the artifice beams to cope with the world, the mechanics of acting a fool and not knowing it plus not wanting to.

Pulling that sheet over your shape of fine bleached skin.

But take a peak without and you’ll see unbelievable things to eclipse the run we had from 1946 to this by a hyperstar of magnitude, a magnetar, beaming all universes through a simple spin and position so super it makes all worlds sing and all their alternates too. 


…it might not work like we want it to. 

Anyhow, sing me to sleep with computer lulls and wake me up when the future completes its baffling sums.


† Nightingale

Demi Lovato / Wily Guys