A few days ago Rattle published a poem of mine in its Poets Respond series. Like most poems inspired by the news cycle, it was written at lightning speed and sent off almost immediately and with minimal revision. I’d like to write a post on the phenomenon of “news poetry” when I have more time, but right now I’m just bookmarking this one for posterity. Rattle is a fantastic journal and it’s an honor to be in such good company.
You, too, are currency. You can be saved,
devalued, spent, invested, thrown away
or burned. In this town roads are paved
with skeletons of folks like you and me.
Your net worth isn’t what you thought it was—
pursuing happiness, you work for free.
You’re better than this, you tell yourself as
you Google who you are. And who are you?
Data, as it turns out.
Go now, erase
your name from the wine-dark sea of Facebook blue
before you’re bought and sold! But it’s too late.
The work is done. What more is there to do
but punch the clock and rue what’s left of fate?
In bed, you count your sheep and calculate.