Economics

Everything has an economy nowadays.
Airwaves, drug use, romantic liaisons, impulse purchases,
border-crossings, self-loathing, human potential, scorn...
but the economics of poetry are gentler than most.
Our verses are speculative ventures; they demand a premium.

We can conflate gratitude with the exultations of love,
and resentment with the anguish of hospital gowns.
We can put in overtime at our desks,
scraping to recoup the traces of what we left unmined,
straining our remonstrative lumbars and defying the economy of muscle injuries.
Our forecasts are misted over by fountains of memories.

We can throw in discarded garbage,
such as the swaying of a young girl’s pocketbook beneath a crown of red curls on Trumpeldor Street.
We’ll cavil and sigh and rue heaven’s distance.
Forget what our languages bequeathed us.
Stroll our resplendent galleries of strophe.

And our most productive investments
lay up stores for what we will do tomorrow.

We write our own checks.
Resistive, licentious, garrulously obscure,
we may not even release the words in our lifetimes.

This poem was published in the Fall 2021 issue of WhimsicalPoet: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry.

Andy Oram
August 16, 2020