I live in Tucson with my wife Jane, a watercolorist. Our son Chris writes for screen in L.A. My more recent work has appeared in Juniper, New Oxford Review, (forthcoming this fall,) North American Review, Verse Daily, Innisfree, and others. My most recent collections are Transversales (BlazeVOX, 2013,) and Selected Poems (FutureCycle, 2016). I enjoy writing articles and reviews and these may be found in Jacket2, The Edgar Allan Poe Review, NAR, and The Kenyon Review, C. V. Mosby, Times-Mirror, and Allyn & Bacon Composition Series.
Note: When I think of America, especially during this painfully materialistic and inhumane period of history, my thoughts turn to the nation's treatment of art and its artists--what art becomes--of America’s poor and dispossessed, of its unfaithfulness to itself. It is not so much what American has done, but what--given its greatness--it continues to fail to do.
Postmodern irony and cynicism’s
become an end in itself, a measure
of hip sophistication and literary
savvy . . . irony is gone from
liberating to enslaving.”
—David Foster Wallace
LA BELLE ÉPOQUE
After a fine arts degree from a college
with a name like a flower, my sister
worked for an art dealer until he went
out of business, and is now employed
by a local delicatessen owned by the same
person who owns the meat packing plant
where her son works, finishing a GED.
All the art in the world cannot feed a table,
she says, you are with the voice of your age,
or you can talk to yourself in a corner. Take it,
or leave it. This is no Belle Époque. It is political,
which means the beast is in costume. Read Vico.
But cultural values are recursive, aren’t they?
I ask while she works on her son’s hair,
shaping it into midnight-blue metallic spikes.
© 2018 Michael Gessner
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