Thursday, January 22, 2009


i've got into a bad habit that i seem i'm unable, or unwilling, to break. at work now i listen all day to national public radio. and each show and every topic turns on the shit of this economy. frankly, i don't know if such a steady diet of despair is good for the soul. not that i'm advocating cocooning at all but man every story is about how fucked up we all are in this mess. not that i understand very well economics, which always seems to me to be a house of cards. in economics there is no science at all but a series of equations set upon a system of ideologies. if you don't think economics is based on ideology than gauge the reactions of those you suggest that capitalism as we know it and at least had practiced it until very recently might not be the best model to use. you'd be accused of witchcraft and branded a heathen. i shit you not.

in my day job i see everyday the fall-out of the collapsed economy and i know how close each one of us is or can be to the economic edge. these are the days of the wounded. the time of certainties with a firm stability appear to be over. perhaps that is why i'm in such a funk now. well, perhaps there never were any certainties and stability is an illusion but even that we no longer can rest upon. times are changing and i think, tho i can't qualify this statement at all, that there is a shift in our economy. but what is it changing in to?

as usual, i've not the foggiets idea. on a related note today i read anne boyer's piece of the economy of poetry at her blog. boyer encapsulates my thoughts on these matters and i too wonder about how poetry will get published, distributed and finally read as money and jobs flitter away. our relationships to jobs, the work we do for money, has long been tenuous but with the collapse of capital that relationship is ghostly. how will poetry change too?

i do know that poetry shall survive its making and even its makers. i'm not so optimistic about a very many things but i am about that. poetry is greater than song and the movies. i won't state why i think so but chances are if you're reading this piece than you'll probably also agree. so here i am sitting and ruminating to the point of silliness. my funk lifted a bit when i read these lines by alex gildzen:

I confess
I confuse
movies & poems

which i lifted from his blog today. i confess the same thing which underscores my point that poetry shall survive the wreckage.



At 10:49 AM, Blogger Steve said...

It will pass.

AND you will replace it

w/ among _other_ ('s)

new habits review-
ing moves, movies, and

rights, writ-
ing poming

Trust me
on this one thing, at least:
I did the same damn stuff
surfing and

November 4th, and one of the
wars was finally over
and I just walked back
into the world again

or maybe golf season 2008
had ended. Anyway,

I don't read or watch
the old news Hardball
or Countdown hardly
at all anymore


At 3:50 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

thanks, steve. i now your right.

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Ernesto Priego said...

if anything survives the wreckage, it will be poetry.

basically because it does not sell, anyway.

so we will keep doing it no matter what...

At 9:36 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

agreed, ernesto. is it because poetry is built or fuelled by wreckage that it attempts to become whole?

At 2:09 AM, Blogger Alan Baker said...

"The news" is always bad - it's designed to keep us in a state of mild anxiety, to make us more pliable for our leaders. Even weather forecasts do this now: in the mildly temperate UK, we're constantly warned about impending 'severe weather'. When you look out the window you see it's cloudy with a slight breeze...

At 10:30 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

u.s. news is no different, alan. that's why i rarely watch local or even national broadcasts. even more troubling is media's heavy reliance of sensationalism of violence. they would have it seem everyone is packing heat and are ready to shoot anyone on sight.

unfortunately, there are many persons who are packing guns and are using them. but to get shot is pretty rare occurance.

the thing is, this economic crisis is real. lay-offs are widespread, house foreclosures, especially in california, are biblical in proportions. the news is bad because the reality is bad. it seems to be getting worse. and i wonder how we as poets, as readers and writers and publishers, will respond. how does the expense of publishing, the worry of staying employed or finding a job, effect poets.


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