Humanity Death Watch

‘Make-work’ poetry project builds self-esteem, existential angst

poetrywhileyouwaitPoetry for America, a project designed to put unemployed Americans to work as pen-equipped emissaries of the soul, is getting mixed reviews as participants report feeling significantly happier just before killing themselves.

“I used to be a gastroenterologist,” said Kevin Marconi of New Jersey. “After robots replaced me, I really started to feel pretty useless. Poetry for America helped bring back my old confidence while also making me acutely aware that meaning is fundamentally contrived.”

Poet Barton Schwartz agrees. “I don’t know where I would be without this program. Poetry for America has made me feel like a valuable human being for the first time in a long time, even though I now fear and long for the cold embrace of the unfathomable abyss.”

“For now, humans make the best poets,” said psychology writer Susan Blackmore. “Robots aren’t terrified by rejection, aging, or their own mortality. Humans are innately equipped to scribble futilely against the looming void.”

Schwartz encourages others to try their hand at poetry. “Writing poetry makes me feel good about myself, even though I’m now aware that the Self is an illusory construct that my brain creates in an attempt to forge meaning from a series of essentially meaningless events. I love my job, even though I’m certain it won’t be long before I put a shotgun in my mouth.”

Photo credit: poetry for sale by Martin Hearn, licensed under CC 2.0

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