In late July 2011 I began to become fascinated by the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftershocks, which still reverberate. I reflected on how unaware I had been of what was happening at the time. I read and I read, from popular accounts like Michael Lewis' book The Big Short, through articles in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and around the web, to texts on quantitative finance and the thousands of pages of the reports of the US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. I discovered there were things called volatility swaps, and attempts to build mathematical models of risk, and that there was a blog on the Financial Times called Alphaville. I thought of Jean-Luc Godard and May '68. The strangeness of the language of derivatives and the amorality of the individuals involved in the events of that time (our time, still) demanded some response. Sometime in late August I found I was starting to write poems using this language.
The writing continues. These poems are not narratives, morality plays, or lyrics.
I'm posting some of them here.
More recently I realized that this project couldn't be limited to the events of 2008, but would probably go on as long as capitalism (or the writer) continues to exist. So I've decided to issue them as an unbounded series of chapbooks, the first of which you can get from Apollinaire's Bookshoppe now. Not everything that's on this site will be in the chapbooks, and not everything that's in the chapbooks will be on this site.