Home > Economy > Recession: A User’s Guide

Recession: A User’s Guide

August 28, 2009

Your outlook should become more depressed over
the budget. If banks implode, search for some anodyne
that could ease forgetfulness. As for your television,
leave it in your front yard until a neighbor comes to argue
its price. Avoid paying for small items — especially
those that are not behind glass. In the meantime,
anonymous benefactors may offer you loans via the Internet.
Make sure your car is easy to hide and your name is fake.

*

Your anguish should become more apparent over the telephone.
If collections calls, ask for flexible managers who can learn
to fuck themselves. As for your microwave, store it in your garage
until a neighbor comes to cook a burrito. Avoid
making payments — especially those that are not life threatening.
In the meantime, strangers may mysteriously eat your money
via the Internet. Make sure your hair is combed and your identity
is somewhat intact.

*

Your children should become savvier about the market.
If jobs open in coal mining or textiles, it could lead to steady
income. As for your credit rating, employed dependants
guarantee a high score. Avoid selling your children
outright — especially those that are not unskilled.
In the meantime, reproduction may bring you a decent
profit via the birth canal. Make sure your calendar is planned
and your wallet is open.

*

Your expectations should become more yielding over the years.
If standards relent, look for sleeping arrangements
that could lead to someone’s basement. As for your hope,
burn it for warmth until the neighbor comes by with kerosene.
Avoid math problems — especially those that are not coin-related.
In the meantime, your desire for religious salvation through costumed oath
and strange prophecy may be satisfied via the Internet. Make sure your robe
is clean and your doubt suspended.

by Nathan Moore

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  1. August 28, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    This poem is great. And I have to say — when you read, it doesn’t matter what you are reading, my friend. You could read the phone book and it would be stunning. Here, please read the ingredients list on this Coca-Cola bottle for me. K?

    • August 29, 2009 at 8:38 am

      Thanks Dana. You know, a product ingredients list poem is a good idea. You should do that.

  2. August 29, 2009 at 10:13 am

    For me, reading this poem is like pulling out knives from a new friend’s well-used knife block. Some lines cut, some skewer, some slowly saw, and they all tell a story.

    I love

    Avoid paying for small items — especially
    those that are not behind glass.

    and

    Make sure your hair is combed and your identity
    is somewhat intact.

    The four stanza – four sentence structure works so well here. (Is there a name for it?)

    • August 29, 2009 at 11:28 am

      Actually Peter, my process was to strip almost all of the words from a horoscope I got from a local weekly paper. Then I rewrote it using my own words. I used the same skeleton for each section to get the echoes of structure and language.

      Dana Guthrie Martin is the one who showed me this skeleton method.

      • August 29, 2009 at 9:45 pm

        That’s very slick!

  3. August 30, 2009 at 11:55 am

    i like how it could easily be called a “survival guide,” but that would imply too much hullabaloo … “user’s guide” is perfect.

    this line stands out to me: “Make sure your car is easy to hide and your name is fake,” and i like how the instructions to the user evolve into compliance. oops, my bad. i was thinking about “marriage: the user’s guide,” which is, or should be, another poem. :)

    i went off on a tangent there, but i really do like how it evolves into numbness. and compliance.

    • August 30, 2009 at 12:34 pm

      Carolee, “Marriage: the user’s guide” should definitely be a poem!

  4. rallentanda
    September 11, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Love the cynical humour.So many good lines.Shades of Monty,Milligan but somehow your own.What a good poem. I’m really pleased with it and it’s not even mine!

  5. September 11, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you, Rallentanda.

  6. September 12, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Your endings in each stanza our absolutely out of site – you could pull those alone and compose quite a piece:

    “Make sure your name is fake…your identity intact…your wallet open…your doubt suspended…”

    Really amazing stuff. I’m struck by this line in the last stanza:

    “As for your hope,
    burn it for warmth until the neighbor comes by with kerosene.”

    Beautiful, Nathan.

    • September 12, 2009 at 7:31 pm

      endings are out of “site” and out of “sight”, now that I think about it.

      • September 13, 2009 at 11:16 am

        Thanks Dave, I’m glad you lie it.

        • September 13, 2009 at 11:17 am

          Make that “like” it.

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