Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Poetry of Economics

This blog site has promised you occasional bad poetry. There isn't a lot of poetry about economics, probably for good reason. I have written two poems on the subject. In honor of the current dustup in Washington about tax cuts and the deficit, here you go:


The wealth of the world
wants to flow downhill.
Dammed in high places,
it puddles into great pools
of things—ponds of
necklaces, reservoirs
of the big-engined
and the indigo,
manmade lakes
of fashionable
But wealth beats hard
against the dams,
wears them away,
looks for cracks in
the great masses of concrete.
Gravity favors the poor.

 The Bottom Line
“Enough,” he said, “is enough.”
And all the receipts fell from the trees
And a billion billion bills came due
And what we wore grew dingy on our knees
And our buttons dropped to the floor
Among the toys
Among the cracked temporary necessities
Among the miserably high-priced shoes—
And yes, stupidly, the socks—
And the shocking electronic boxes of lights
And the noise
And the music music music that was almost noise.
And he didn’t need to say it again
But he did: “Enough!
It’s enough.”
And he tore out his tubes
From mountains of things
To oceans of things
To prairies of anything,
Nothing grew—it only
And your hands
Were in my family’s pockets
Taking more than our dirty little change
(But what was that?),
Leaving leafless our accounts
And our few hours empty
Of anything approaching an eleemosynary twinkle.
And so our smiles, like yours, became just teeth,
And we all bit:
On the red want,
On the white wish,
And on the wild blue greed.


1 comment:

  1. eleemosynary?
    the bottom line is charity may be our only hope for the poor. Where's the bottom?