Grant Clauser

State of the Union

My fellow Americans, tonight
I want to talk to you about experimental poetry—
why it matters, and where we go from here.

This is a time of testing for experimental poetry.

The men and women of our armed forces
have delivered experimental poetry
to every enemy of the United States.

The war in experimental poetry is not a war we wanted.
We worked hard to avoid war.

We do not seek the destruction of experimental poetry,
its culture, or its people. Rather,
we seek an experimental poetry that uses its great resources
not to destroy, not to serve the ambitions of a tyrant,
but to build a better life for itself and its neighbors.

It is appropriate at this time to review our experimental poetry
which has guided us through three years of war,
and which will lead, eventually, to total victory.

But even while we were conducting defensive,
delaying actions, we were looking forward to the time
when we could wrest the experimental poetry from our enemies
and place our superior experimental poetry
into direct competition with them.

We have struck down legal barriers to experimental poetry.
We have brought experimental poetry to older people who were unable to afford it.

To lift the standards of our experimental poetry
we achieved historic education reform
which must now be carried out in every school and in every classroom
so that every child in America can read and learn and succeed in experimental poetry.

We should also strengthen the economy
by treating experimental poetry equally in our tax laws.
It’s fair to tax a company’s profits.
It is not fair to again tax experimental poetry
on the same profits.

The magic of experimental poetry – unreserved, unfailing, unrestrained –
isn’t this the calling that unites us?
I believe our experimental poetry for the people
has done more to spur a spirit of risk-taking
and help America’s economy break free than any program
since John Kennedy’s experimental poetry.

But to do that, we must recognize
that experimental poetry above inflation
in Federal programs is not preordained,
that not all experimental poetry is designed to be immortal.

The fundamental facts remain
that the Soviets retain a very powerful experimental poetry machine
in the service of objectives which are still too often
in conflict with ours. So, let us take
the new experimental poetry seriously,
but let’s also be realistic.

For the first time in two decades,
experimental poetry is not a threat to this country.

Experimental poetry is the enduring dream
of every immigrant who ever set foot
on these shores, and the millions
still struggling to be free.
This nation, this idea called experimental poetry
was and always will be a new world, our new world.

The American people did not send us here to bicker.
There is work to do, and they sent us here to get it done.
And once again, in the spirit of experimental poetry
I offer my hand to all of you.




Says Grant Clauser:

I live in Hatfield Pennsylvania, author of four books: The Magician’s Handbook, Reckless Constellations, Necessary Myths and The Trouble with Rivers. Poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Cortland Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, Southern Poetry Review and others. I also write about electronics, teach poetry at random places and chase fish with a stick.