Adam Fell’s “DEAR CORPORATION”
“…………Dream at night always of
your loved ones in danger. Wake tangled in
the gauze of your sheets. Draw yourself a
hot bath. Unhood the windows. It’s
becoming harder and harder to tell whether
the motion detector has been triggered or
it’s already morning. Try to practice your
breathing. Let the day open up to you with
the hiss of automated doors. Find something
in the near distance to look forward to. Hold
on. Even if the boot is crushing your fingers.”
—from Adam Fell’s new “DEAR CORPORATION“
I met Adam Fell when I read in Madison, WI at the wonderful Monsters of Poetry which Adams helps curate. At dinner after the reading Adam talked about the huge demonstrations at the Capitol that he’d been a part of in early 2011. And if memory serves me Adam then talked about he then began writing the poems that now constitute DEAR CORPORATION (released last month, H_NGM_N Books). Poems, thus, that were born out of the feelings of anger, impotence, vulnerability, etc, that ones feels when at the mercy of something much bigger and colder and pure-predator.
unconflicted, the unaccountable, the
unworried, the unwounded. Distrust your
own impulse to leave your love in the ruins.
Your pain is not the only pain, not the worst
pain. Your guilt is not the only guilt, not the
—from DEAR CORPORATION
But, here, now, I want to talk a bit about hanging out with friends, old and new, at AWP and then again recently in Stillwater (OK), Kansas City (MO) and Lawrence, KS. Friends who spoke much of the difficulties of finding their way in Academia. Of getting a good teaching job. Of getting a job in the same area as their spouse or partner. Of feeling “used” and ground down by the system. And this made me think of DEAR CORPORATION because Academia seems to be a kind of monstrous, enslaving institution. Because Academia, like a Government or a big, cold Corporation, use leverage for all its worth. Uses power to squeeze people because, on paper, people are just raw material. And, on paper, squeezing them just makes sense.
“……….It’s the protocol, the tools of
the trade, the glare of the moneybright
capitol. Fuck protocol. Fuck the tools of the
trade. Fuck the lone animal bullshit, the
survival of the fittest. Fuck the lions in the
millions, the billions, the abasement and
ache of the blindly entitled.”
—from DEAR CORPORATION
Interesting and apt that the word “fell,” as a noun, can mean fierce, strong and fiery. Interesting and apt also that the word “fell” suggests “fallen” or “down.” And, indeed, there is something about the voice of DEAR CORPORATION that is really “fell” in both ways.
“These poems;” Adam Fell says, “feel true to me, true to how I feel about our political system, our communities, our friendships, our loves, our general chance of survival as a species that has kept our humane soul intact. Poems that helped me to interrogate my own emotions and opinions about the lengths we go to make money, grab power, fulfill our greeds, or why we DON’T do that at all. They’re hopeful and hurting.”
And this is how Adam, in all his hope and passion, concludes the first DEAR CORPORATION poem:
“……Make reckless, bloodbright
basement music. Make blackout bedroom
make-out noise. Make language like
nosebleeds and rug burns and snakebites
and shiners. Language like warm hands on
warm chests, between warm legs. Fail
ardently. Fail gloriously. Fail over and over
and over again.
……(You can order this “hopeful and hurting” direct from H_NGM_N)…..