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This piece is way too vague — which is sad to say about a poet. Poets are supposed to be skilled at carving meaning from words. I was hoping for more. If an argument is to be persuadable, it needs clarity and focus.

“We are again outside of language / begging the alphabet of capital / for answers to our predicaments.” Brendan Joyce

“Alphabet of capital” is a nice bit, only it sets up an expectation that the rest of the poet’s comments don’t deliver on. The best I can derive is that he’s pissed, out of work and doesn’t want to take it anymore. Fair enough — but find the language that persuades, not rants, or if ranting is called for — and perhaps it is — I couldn’t tell — do it with better language.

“Publishing is an industry. But it’s a secondary industry, relying on the labor writers do in other industries to subsidize the extremely low pay most writers receive from publishing.”

So the publishing industry is subsidizing [“to support by grants of money” from OED] writers for their low pay? Sounds generous, but I don’t think that’s the verb he was looking for.

“But this is a direct issue affecting the publishing industry, booksellers are walking out, fulfillment centers — the largest distributor of books in the world — are walking out, Whole Foods, a subsidiary of the largest bookseller in the world, is walking out.”

What? Whole Foods are [sic] walking out? My god, ten thousand angry grocery stores are marching! Better stop smoking that gonzo weed.

“Additionally, there’s been significant hemming & hawing on the internet about the internet archive’s emergency library. This is shameful. It’s like the MPAA telling poor people that our piracy funds terrorism. How despicable. How absurd. There might be some people that actually want to read your work & your response is a cease & desist? How could you actually make a significant enough amount of money from book sales while simultaneously not being able to afford the tiny slice of a hit this could represent towards your royalties?”

Is it cryptic enough? Does it leap across thoughts in a single bound? Emergency library — WTF? What does the Motion Picture Assoc. of America have to do with book sales? And are you following that shift in POV?

“At the same time, I had to confront on the fly a disposition to take & abuse power that I- like so many white cis men- are conditioned with. The problem for me was I had to kill the cop in my head before I could do any real change & I wasn’t there yet. So for white people & specifically white cis men, that’s the task.”

He’s conditioned WITH taking power and abusing it — so how did that go, and how the fuck do you do that? And what exactly was that cop in his head telling him — again, he needs to put the pipe down.

When resorting to jargon— ie. ‘white cis men’ — that’s just lazy, regardless of one’s sympathies for the oppressed.

Be a writer, dammit! Do your job.

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