Aught, no. 8 (2002)


Francis Raven

Structural Adjustment Poem

When motive is designed
For now purpose, propose
Structure, minimalist play
In the fields of your old script.

Methods for intervention
In crisis moments, unclear lighted
Discreet corners, fiddling with the
Language of the shocked head.

Derivatives Flourishing.
Industrially Stagnant.
Miss-signaling growth
Sends stock flying.

Whose cost is individual?
None, but perhaps constant binding (problem?)
Annoying visions of possible paradise
Gone under into shaky speech.

Privatization of epistemic mechanisms
Narrows our vision until we see only
Representations of that slim window,
Never the apparatus itself.

Options to realize surplus value
Hidden in a bracketed mystification
Makes possible questions legal but unasked,
Not that we cannot inquire, but that we do not.

Privatizing common language;
Postmodern unstable personal voyages,
Better be responsible for your own speech
Even if all conversations are tilted in favors interested.

What if your wealthy material condition
Is structurally connected to
Another’s impoverished substantial predicament
For existence in the sight of said individuality?

Reiterating the beginnings of difference,
That is, reiterating a structure,
For positions of living standards
From which to measure and deride belief.

What is the metaphysics of talking
About ‘possibility’ versus ‘actuality’?
Possibilities point and claim oftentimes
Towards improbable actualities.

Addressing reforms at distribution
Inscribes a specter of production relations
Which dismisses its own self-referential questions
As a protest produces another cultural hydration.

What would it mean to structurally adjust
A poem of Eliot’s or of Whitman’s?
Would I privatize the language
Into a shaky tattered tongue without use?

High taxes, low investment
Or) low taxes, high investment.
Either way, social pies shrivel
And the cult of individuality burgeons.

‘How did you spend your day?’
Becomes a central question (acquisition)
When factors of surplus value
Are all insighted as issues of time.

What is called ‘economics’
Especially excludes
All other methods of realizing surplus value
Except profit.

What moves you artistically?
Both into paralysis and into gazing
(possibly beginning to join movement)
On the brink of grace and social collaborations.


Copyright 2002, by the author. All rights reserved.
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