Not so much a poem as some hasty ruminations in verse:
How is the "natural" unemployment rate arrived at?
The Natural Unemployment Rate
Each day it seems I may approach it.
Each night, settling into clean sheets
Stretching and sighing, I find out. Your bones,
Old dragon's teeth in mud, deserve a thank you note.
It's not a conscious battle, but there
You are, drawn that much closer to
An unwanted intimacy with earth,
An intimacy with consequences.
If earth's what you want I suppose that
Might pass for "natural" employment in this benighted time.
Just look around at work, and what employment is there?
K'ung says clean your house. Act through li. Study the poems.
A pip in the pocket, a need for a natural relation
to those you love, and only concrete floors, and separation.
The age guarantees each citizen a right to
Unnatural employments, even after the end.
Once there was a chief or king, the title
Untranslatable, who set things in their places
And gathered up the songs the ages had composed
And all day long the people worked and saw the sense
Of what they sowed and how they prospered, and they
Worshipped the divine and did the work of heart
And mind and when they spoke, their language
Was precise. The legend of the kingdom grew.
This chief went up into the clouds and there
Saw cultures we can hardly dream, and coming home
The legendary garden seemed sour/slim. He brooded
Half the day, and his ministers grew restless.
No one invaded. The place just fell apart.
Since then, no one has been employed for long.
I have a friend who says he tries to think one thought all day,
And that thought God. He works like a maniac.
From: - Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Carrol Cox
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 8:21 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: a poem
Tim Romano wrote:
> How is the "natural" unemployment rate arrived at?
I suppose the comfort level of Berkeley econ profs?? Chicken entrails?
Population of Iowa divided by percentage of sky covered by clouds?
> Tim Romano