Vertical integration in the United States once meant
White people on top and everybody else layered in below.
It has come to mean control of a product and its profits
From conception to consumption
Employing all the formerly middle men
Into one sleek unit of production and delivery.
In the case of poetry I’ve done that:
Dreamed of a poem
Captured the poem in the dream
Reduced it to representational linguistic fragments illustrated on paper
Bound it with other plausible reductions
Into the pages of a book
With barcodes, prices, photographs, and blurbs
On the back cover and covered it with the art of friends
To be sold if not in open markets
Then at the Walla Walla farmers market for years.
Does this make me then a farmer of dreams?
I decline to bring any more dreams
Thru the trap door of commerce
From which they so turbulently spring.
Retired dream farmer in a collapsed poetry market.
The poems and the dreams to which they are inextricably attached
Remain hidden in the dream verse
One of many multi verses I am told.