Brilliant satire from Charles Bernstein in Harper’s:
Poetry Bailout Will Restore Confidence of Readers
Chairman Lehman, Secretary Polito, distinguished poets and readers—I regret having to interrupt the celebrations tonight with an important announcement. As you know, the glut of illiquid, insolvent, and troubled poems is clogging the literary arteries of the West. These debt-ridden poems threaten to infect other areas of the literary sector and ultimately to topple our culture industry.
Charles Bernstein’s most recent collection of poetry is Girly Man. His poem “Pompeii” appeared in the August issue of Harper’s Magazine; his essay “Wet verse at The New Yorker” appeared in the November 1989 issue._
Cultural leaders have come together to announce a massive poetry buyout: leveraged and unsecured poems, poetry derivatives, delinquent poems, and subprime poems will be removed from circulation in the biggest poetry bailout since the Victorian era. We believe the plan is a comprehensive approach to relieving the stresses on our literary institutions and markets.
The only trouble I can foresee is the effect on the Northfield economy of the inflow of federal funds to our local poets, like this guy or this guy.
4 thoughts on “Poetry Buyouts”
In Harper’s, actually.
My bad, now corrected.
I thought you would enjoy this Onion piece.
Thanks, Andrea! That was brilliant:
‘”$52 million to insert hyphens into the word “tomorrow” so it reads “to-morrow,” $7.45 for a used copy of John Keats’ Selected Poems for ideas and inspiration, and $450 million for a simile likening human fate to the wind.
Some experts, however, say the poem is already at risk of going over budget, citing the soaring $5,000-per-square-inch cost of vellum, and an ambitious but perhaps ill-conceived $135 million undertaking to make the word “owl” rhyme with “soul.”‘