Kristin Prevallet: The Web

Spring '05 TOC

In response to Annemie Maes (www.unamas-projects.org/peopledatabase) and Mark Lombardi (www.wburg.com/0202/arts/lombardi.html)

I. The Human Code: The People Database

This child plays with a plastic yellow bear manufactured in Malaysia while
this one plays with a doll that was hand knit by her mother.

This woman buys an apple pie from MacDonald's for $1.10 and this
woman picks apples from an orchard for .60c/hour.

This woman is a bank teller and handles on average $20,000 per day, but
on weekends she clips coupons from the newspaper in order to save .35c
on her next purchase of trash bags.

This man dreams of owning his own sailboat so that he can disappear
and never be forced to turn on a computer or answer the phone ever
again.

This man was laid off from his job of 25 years as a software engineer, and
he sits around all day long dreaming of once again having his own
cubicle.

This man is a revolutionary leader in Northern India and has mobilized
2,000 farmers in his state to stand up against their landlords and refuse to
pay rent because they work the land day in and day out for nothing.

This woman cleans pools for a rich man in the city but dreams of returning
home to the country to raise chickens.

This woman in Southern Mexico grows her own beets and tries to sell
them at the local marketplace, but no one buys them because at the
supermarket it's cheaper to buy beets which have been imported from
Texas.

This man has so much money that he has to hire an accountant to keep
track of all the zeros.

This man has no savings except the pennies and nickels he collects in
mason jars under his sink.

This girl dreams of going to college to be a doctor but knows her father
can't afford it, and so becomes a home health care worker instead.

This woman is very old and can afford full-time medical care, but she
can't find anyone to stay for longer than a few days because she accuses
anyone who comes into her house of stealing her money.

This woman and this girl are all part of the same economy—the one which
confuses, the one which distributes, the one which subtracts, and the one
which bleeds.

This is a difficult space for poetry.

II. The Human Network: Mark Lombardi

This man is a gangster who switched to union busting when selling liquor
became legal.

This is a man who remembers making rye in his bathtub and smuggling it
across town to the local pool hall in mason jars disguised as his wife's
canned peaches.

This is a man who works with dangerous chemicals in a non-unionized
company, who developed a painful chronic cough but is unable to get the
company doctor to diagnose his problem as anything more than a
common cold.

This is a woman who needs to have sex with five different men a night in
order to pay off the man who is threatening to kill her children.

This is a man who works for other men to make sure that none of the girls
try and make off with extra cash.

This woman is a faithful follower of Jesus and attends a Christian church
every Sunday, who shows her devotion to Catholic teachings by placing
$10 in the donation basket as it passes her in the pew, who can't afford a
lawn mower and her weeds are out of control, which makes her neighbors
infuriated because her weeds are ruining their yards.

This man works at a bank and personally witnessed a transaction in which
a large sum of cash from the Vatican Bank was handed over to a man
who he was certain was a part of the mafia.

This man's job is to transfer suitcases from one safe deposit box to
another.

This is a man who is an expert at masking the trace of large sums of
money deposited into banks all over the world at any given time, who
learned to play golf when he was a boy, who visualizes the global financial
network as a vast golf course with millions of balls zipping around in the
air simultaneously, being teed off and then dropping, rolling around a bit
and then stopping, landing in holes where they vanish long enough to be
out of view, only to resurface, once again to be teed off and sent whizzing
into another direction. He imagines this constant activity of balls-in-motion
and it helps him to focus on his drive. He by no means is an excellent golf
player but Nelson Rockefeller once commended him for his stride, a
compliment which won his brother several important defense contracts.

This woman is the wife of a guerilla who has been hiding in the mountains
for the past five years; she thinks of him and his struggles with the military
officials who control the democratically elected government every time she
visits her sister, whose son was murdered just because he told the local
police about a white man from Miami who tried to convince him to sell
cocaine to the boys hanging out in the schoolyard.

This is a man who loads airplanes destined to Iraq with large crates which
he knows contain missiles, who buys his son a plastic machine gun on the
way home from work, who is a devoted Lutheran and a brilliant barbecuer
who is very generous with the sauce.

This man is in the "destabilizing business" and has made a huge profit
selling missiles, canons, and artillery to anti-rebel factions within
numerous third world countries; who after the wars are won will then turn
around and sell the same weapons to the other side, and so on and so
on, until, he chuckles, they finally "blow themselves off the face of the
earth."

This woman cannot understand why the local hospital was bombed to bits
by the Americans.

This woman is weaving a large tapestry in which a viscous circle of
interconnecting lines forms two scythes, and she imagines sewing the
point in which they meet as a singular red dot, symbolizing her family
which was hacked to pieces because her brother dared to give a
wounded rebel fighter a ride to the local hospital.

This man has picked up a machine gun and vows to fire in the fight to
save his country until he is killed.

This man has successfully bribed another man and therefore will not have
to kill his family.

This man is terrified that a nuclear bomb has fallen into the wrong hands,
and worries about his own personal safety.

This woman and this man are all connected to the same network, the one
which conceals, the one which builds, the one which explodes and one
which profits. Each thinks that he or she is an independent entity, floating
in a circular bubble high above the concerns of politics and economy. No
one can escape being implicated in the flow: this is a difficult space for
poetry.

:: TOC ::

Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
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