mr. wood said that
IS THE ECONOMY
and I panicked, lacking a knack for stocks,
incapable of buying and selling
my own vocabulary.
(its worth has depreciated over
years of illegal inhalations,
words tumbled out of my hold
like a fistful of dry rice
or a slippery goldfish, and
the warm slots that "PRURIENCY"
and "DIATRIBE" used to call home
are now sticky
with disuse, I've been told to invest
in a good thesaurus, but I just
haven't got the drive due to
years of illegal inhalations and
a general neglect of SAT flashcards)
mr. wood explained that
had two definitions, my mistake,
the first, and as far as I had known, the only,
being "the system or range of economic activity
in a country, region, or community"
the second, being
"efficient, sparing, or conservative use"
and there was the answer.
poetry, not the casting off or absorbtion of
language, but rather, the art of saying everything
with barely anything, the string bikini
of literature, left me naked at the door
of the new york stock exchange.
the economy is failing,
according the local paper on my mother's
suburban kitchen table, the economy
has been wrung like a t-shirt
prepped for tie-dying, like a barren
already-been-juiced valencia orange.
and I wonder which definition the
Orange County Register is using.
Perhaps, I am making the same mistake
I made in mr. wood's class, perhaps
what the reporter meant to say was that
there is no more efficiency, there is
nothing to be said without a gluttony
of speech, nothing is being held back
and we're all just talking and talking
with no immediate goal in mind, just
a strong compulsion to exercise our throats
because the economy
(or vice versa, it's so hard to tell these days
what with all these words littered about like
abandoned solo cups at a frat party. also,
did you know that if you google
the first result is about UC Irvine?
A college so close to my home that at night,
if you listen closely, you can hear the sound
of a hundred cherries popping, a hundred
bunk beds creaking, four hundred or so
limbs, flailing in mock ecstasy, echoing
through the halls of the first year dorms)
I didn't make enough money last year
to qualify for ECONOMIC STIMULUS.
But even I had, I don't think I would've applied...
I heard the president was standing on
capitol hill with a cattle prod,
working hard at the head of a line a mile long
populated by babbling pundits, representatives,
reporters, politicians, gossip columnists, preachers,
soccer moms, and anyone else drowning in their own verbiage,
shocking each of them
and they said each toupe'd senator, each frantic american,
went home in silence, pensive and stoic,
smiles burrowing into their cheeks for the first time
in half a century.
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