Thursday, May 11, 2006
Poet/Lungfull!editor/St. Mark's Newsletter editor/Zinc Talk-Reading Series curator/impresario Brendan Lorber originally published this in the Poetry Project Newsletter:
From the Editor-
My inadvertently brave colleague, together we can fight the terrorists. As we wrest poems from atomized moments, publish little-read magazines & strategize how to catapult ourselves from slightly to barely, we are doing more than we know. There may be more productive ways to beat the evildoers, but our secret weapon lies precisely in the gracefully seditious heart of unproductivity.
According to Amnesty International & Human Rights Watch, America is the leading practitioner of state-sponsored terrorism. Along with melting glaciers, it’s our leaders’ most refined form of expression & their renditions get more and more finessed. They aren’t sadists per se — their crimes are motivated less by bloodlust than by an economy that is fundamentally untenable through less savage means. To oppose that economy is to oppose a major source of violence.
The creation of poetry, by virtually all industrial models, contributes less to an economy than any other activity. Less than artistic practices that generate marketable commodities. Less even than sleep which yields efficiency in the office on Monday. But beyond simply not contributing, poetry, regardless of its form & content, actually weakens the economy. It relies on the willful idleness & free time of its operatives, using resources developed to control people in ways counter to their design.
Leaders don’t grant The People sovreignity over national policy without pretty strong assurances that those people will make the right decisions. When we refuse to cooperate, despite cultural indoctrination, corporate seduction & government fearmongering the mellifluous sculptors of imperial notions turn the screws. The increasing efforts of the oval office & the board room to deceive, scatter & crush us are not measures of our defeat but of what’s contained in our awareness, organization & nascent liberation.
Your cultural obscurity & the polite disdain people express when you reveal yourself to be, oh jeez here it comes, a poet, is a sign your thread is pure gold. Marginality is resistance to a system that would prefer people to be infinitely materialistic consumers than manifestations of the infinite in material form. Invisibility & imagination is the wash & wear uniform of the antiterror secret team leader, the unsingable hero whose spirit is pure octane and in whose idle hands rests real security for the world. That’s you pal, whether you like it or not. & now the clouds & everyone under them, we need you to get to (un)work.
posted by FS