My feeling about the Great Recession is that it has highlighted for me two things that have always disturbed me about the American psyche: the juvenile competitiveness which is never far from the surface, and the sense that intellectuality is not valued on any level. The American media continue to represent the illusions necessary to move commodities, and refuse to acknowledge that the Great Recession is a reality. To the extent that jobs are being lost and my sector is being affected, I have noticed the polarizing nature of the Recession— that the “Occupy” movements are pulling people closer together, while weakened resources pull other social contexts apart. Living in Philly, I’ve noticed the overall morale of the city deteriorate. People go out less, and have less time for each other. Until material circumstances improve, that will probably be the case in American urban centers indefinitely.
HOW HAS THE GREAT RECESSION AFFECTED YOUR POETRY?
The Great Recession has put me in the position of seeing levels of density and depth rather than anything crystalline. Times like these are fraught with complex realities and multiple meanings, and the poems I’ve written in the last few years reflect this. It’s also the cases that in times like these, identities have to multiply: people have more tasks, and less leisure time. Hence, I’ve found myself writing from many positions where identities are concerned, rather than sticking with a lyric “I” or the disjunctive version of the same thing.
PLEASE SHARE A POEM(S) ADDRESSING YOUR GREAT RECESSION EXPERIENCE:
This is a poem I wrote as an allegory. It’s meant to reflect an artist’s relationship to politics and political power, among other things:
Two hedgerows with a little path
between— to walk in the path like
some do, as if no other viable route
exists, to make Gods of hedgerows
that make your life tiny, is a sin of
some significance in a world where
hedgerows can be approached from
any side— I said this to a man who
bore seeds to an open space, and he
nodded to someone else and whistled
an old waltz to himself in annoyance.
ABOUT THE POET:
Adam Fieled is a poet based in Philadelphia. He has released five print books: "Opera Bufa" (Otoliths, 2007), "When You Bit..." (Otoliths, 2008), "Chimes" (Blazevox, 2009), "Apparition Poems" (Blazevox, 2010), and "Equations" (blue & yellow dog press, 2011), as well as e-books like "Beams" (Blazevox, 2007), "Disturb the Universe: The Collected Essays of Adam Fieled" (Argotist e-books, 2010), and "Mother Earth" (Argotist e-books, 2011). He has work in Jacket, Cordite, Pennsound, Poetry Salzburg Review, the Argotist, Great Works, Tears in the Fence, Upstairs at Duroc, and in the & Now Awards Anthology from Lake Forest College Press. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he also holds an MFA from New England College and an MA from Temple University.