I guess where men see Commerce, I just don’t
think Commerce. Example: running
late for a poetry reading on Chestnut Street
I press the wrong button in the parking lot
elevator, and emerge surreally
into the heavenly vistas of Macys.
But, as I negotiate the gleaming pearl
and gold aisles, I don’t think, Commerce;
I think, Purses and Handbags—a smorgasbord
of edible colors, citruses and olives, garnished
with the silverware of buckles and zips—
then I exit into what one of the male poets
soon calls the Bladerunner night. And later
I think how much I prefer the ambience
of Macys to the industrially carpeted stage
of Robin’s Bookstore, with its turquoise
shaker piano, instead of thinking that both places
are actually also about Commerce,
albeit on different scales. Then, while the third
male poet is reading yet another poem with
words like unemployment and Capitalism,
I imagine all the men must be nodding like politicians,
thinking, Commerce, Commerce, Commerce,
while I am thinking, Purses and Handbags. Belts.
Now, here is a poem that makes the subtle distinction between commerce and commodity fetishism. Pretty brilliant, I’d say!
Not to mention that it’s a commentary on the distinction between cultural commerce (as Pound to Whitman) and cultural fetishism, also known as celebrity, idol worship, etc.
[…] year I have had several poems appear in the marvelous Flea and one on Ernie Hilbert’s e-verse radio, plus one will appear in an upcoming issue of Think journal. Almost by accident I ended up doing […]
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