What if money were blank?
Would you take it? Would you spend it?
Save it? Wads of blank white bills --
easy to spot counterfeits,
with ink all over them, even a clever one,
blank expanse delicately tinged
by a single haiku. No denominations --
each bill is worth whatever you want it to be worth,
or whatever you can imagine it to be worth
(if you imagine well enough
to persuade others). Who would give you
your supper or a new car for blank scraps
But perhaps if you offered them as poetry
futures? Options on words yet to be coined?
Relics of ancient trees, worth their weight
in poetry -- and poetry, of course, has gravitas.
But let us compromise, not be fanatic
about blankness. We'll humor
the Philistines, add a few words and pictures
to our scraps, if necessary, make them fancy,
columned and acanthus-draped, Latined,
numbered, signed, given noble purposes,
emblems -- sounds like poetry, like
far too much poetry.
Note: Money is poetry backed by gold or confidence it
can be exchanged for substance or services. These poems can perhaps
be traded for smiles or snores. It is not my intention to write
redeemable poems, though I do hope they can locate some redeemable