Go to the Ant, O Sluggard
Go to the Ant, O Sluggard is a collection of poems about the modern workplace written in "fibs," a contemporary poetic form that uses the Fibonacci sequence to determine the length of each line with the poem.
The Fibonacci sequence is a series of integers that grows by adding each number to the number that appears prior to it (i.e. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, …). An expression of the Golden Ration, the sequence appears in many manifestations in nature, such as in the fractals of a Romanesco broccoli and the arrangement of a pinecone. However, the sequence, like poetry and mathematics, is not so much a thing itself as it is an attempt to describe reality, a means by which to measure, to reckon. The sequence, along with the Classical aesthetic that arose from its usage, have long been celebrated in visual art, architecture, and even musical composition; the Fib is literature’s attempt to do so the same. Uncovered and named in 2006 by Gregory Pincus, the Fib is a fixed poetic form in which each line of the poem corresponds syllabicly to a number in the sequence. Though Pincus named his form in a writing prompt that year, the tradition of the sequence in poetry dates back centuries. Given this context, I think of the Fib as quintessentially American: not only does because this iteration of the form originates here in the US, but because, like so much of our culture, it steals and builds upon the labor of earlier traditions in order to exist.
Go to the Ant, O Sluggard is an exploration of the Fib, and it is a meditation on the way Westerners think about work in a capitalist culture, particularly how labor in this culture flattens the things that actually matter in life. Romance, desire, history, and self all take a backseat to earning and efficiency in a capital-driven society that answers the question of “what do you do?” with occupation. The collection looks at that conflict that exists in so many of us: the relationship between the work-self and the life-self.
Printed and hand-bound in 2016 by Akinoga Press.