Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm here to tell you that things will get better

It's the Sunday night of the Sunday night of the year around here. In preparation for the deluge, I'm playing today a fair amount of droney and gothic European art rock. Do you blame me?

Despite that, I have to say that I still believe that in the future, things will be better. Much better, in fact, than even you may be imagining.

Or that, at least, is one possible way of reading my poem Prediction, which is now available online in the August issue of Open Letters: A Monthly Arts and Literature Review.

I hope reading it makes you as happy as I felt writing it.

John Cotter, an interesting young writer who attended the premiere presentation of this poem (or, if not a poem, just a piece of writing), on March 29, 2008 at the Bowery Poetry Club, prior to a bit of great Collapsible Poetics Theater from Rodrigo Toscano, is the poetry editor of Open Letters. It's a journal that attempts to reach out to a broader, dare-I-say more mainstream literary audience than the journals in which my work more commonly appears.

After reading it, if you'd like me to predict your own personal future as well, let me know. Especially given what's going on in California lately, I'm available for a reasonable fee.


Nada said...

Funny poem!

Anonymous said...


In the future everyone will have the same haircut and the same clothes.
In the future everyone will be very fat from the starchy diet.
In the future everyone will be very thin from not having enough to eat.
In the future it will be next to impossible to tell girls from boys, even in bed.
In the future men will be 'super masculine' and women will be 'ultra-feminine'.
In the future half of us will be 'mentally ill'.
In the future there will be no religion or spirtualism of any sort.
In the future the 'psychic arts' will be put to practical use.
In the future we will not think that 'nature' is beautiful.
In the future the weather will always be the same.
In the future no one will fight with anyone else.
In the future there will be an atomic war.
In the future water will be expensive.
In the future all material items will be free.
In the future everyone's house will be like a little fortress.
In the future everyone's house will be a total entertainment centre.

In the future everyone but the wealthy will be very happy.
In the future everyone but the wealthy will be very filthy.
In the future everyone but the wealthy will be very heathly.
In the future TV will be so good that the printed word will function as an artform only.
In the future people with boring jobs will take pills to relieve the boredom.
In the future that no one will live in cities.
In the future there will be mini-wars going on everywhere.
In the future everyone will think about love all the time.

mark wallace said...

I don't usually post anonymous comments, anonymous, but thanks--that's fascinating. I've never heard that song. It's also interesting to me how the themes of both pieces turn out to be very different.

Anonymous said...

Can't click on the poem link anymore..says "account has been suspended." Weird!

mark wallace said...

They're moving to the new September issue because it's the first of the month. The poem should be up again soon.

mark wallace said...

As of the morning of Wednesday, September 2, the links appear to be working again after a delay while Open Letters updated its server.

Anonymous said...

Here is the song...

Someone made a video out of it, not DB I'm sure, but you can hear the song here.

Stan Apps said...

Good poem! Actually, I think the water in the toilet is already good enough to drink. And in fact, many of the other things you say will happen in the future are already the case. . . I guess that's part of the fun.

I can see, though, that you're never going to be a hardcore sci-fi enthusiast.

mark wallace said...

Hi Stan:

In the future, the future really will be now.

It's amazing how many other good lines people have about this, or comments that could be made into good lines--thanks for yours.

Actually, I do like a lot of sci-fi, particularly as a record of past thinking about the future.

I'm tempted to say that one thing that separates classic sci-fi from what now gets talked about as speculative literature is that classic sci-fi definitely stakes itself more on the idea that "the future really could be like this." Whereas speculative literature plays around with social alternatives in a way that stakes itself more on criticizing the present. The distinction I'm making is a little schematic but I think there's something to it.