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The Wealth of Nations

Tired of the gawking. Conspicuous
consumption copycatting subcutaneous
rumors in the new frontier–Melpomene
mouse-clicked through a high-speed
phone line where journalists sit
enthralled. Another pile of discarded
laptops in this over-caffeinated age
bludgeoned by homicidal rage. TV
crews in that morass of surly stalemates
contravening fiber found on a child’s
labia. Electrodes of a stun gun solid
proof. Pinewood chairs afloat in pools
overviewed by a sunroom facing West–
her exercycle Schwinn passing up
the twenty-eight thousand mile mark
as palpable cause, a no-holds doubt
cueing up nostalgic stills aside from
uniforms encrusted with mud and blood,
the frogging ripped, an old piano
playing an adagio as cuirasses pile
up in hecatombs hallowed out by
venerable pedigrees. Martinis. Gucci.
Cigars. Peasants scavenging corpses
thrown into communal burial pits.
No heroic diapasons of grandiosity
sauntering through this hopeless
carnival–glory days but prelude to
gunshots on the Hill where interns got
dolled-up as rats continued gnawing
through a well-upholstered couch
consigned to the Lincoln Room–a blast
of ultrasound trying to keep pests
at bay. No poison. No mess. Corporate
payouts at the center of a sand mandala
with Tibetan monks stalking around
onstage in silk sarongs as if America
were still a dream–Baryshnikov’s
bulge fragrant as a country girl
from the Volga where factories keep
putting out after the Khrushchev thaw–