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The Jane Moran Prize

Brian Slusher


The Means of Production

                                                          When the wind of change blows, some build walls, while others build windmills.

How can American poetry compete
in a global economy? When imagery
manufactured outside our borders is
ten times cheaper, and the versed
consumer cares more about price
than quality? To wit, I have
outsourced all my poems to a factory
in Shandong province, where
847 Chinese poets labor in three
shifts to create (if you will)
a diverse line of "non-prosaic
word-singings" (their translation),
each constructed per my blueprints
and marketed for the reader
who longs for epiphany yet leans
toward frugality. I know old-school
rhymesters might bridle at this, but
talk doesn’t cook rice and aren’t
the stars we scribble on about
both beautiful and mass-produced?
Plus I teleconference the line
breaks daily. So look for my work
in your local superstore, shelved
between the candy and the fertilizer.