Stocks in U.S. Treasury-backed Poetry shares have spiked in past few days on news that Tracy K. Smith has been appointed the new U.S. Poet Laureate. Happy to serve in the honored position under U.S. President Donald J. Trump, Smith spoke excitedly, as reported by the Harriet blog, to an interviewer from the Washington Post, before giving her inaugural reading:

I go to a lot of writers conferences and literary festivals that tend to be in college towns or cities, and I’m eager to see what happens if those same texts and those same questions move outside of those areas to smaller rural communities where there are surely people who read and love poetry. I am eager to see how that conversation will change and what poems speak to that is relevant to lives in other places.

Smith, who has apparently never been, at least as a poet, to areas outside conferences and literary festivals, much less to smaller rural communities where there are surely people who read and love poetry, as they most assuredly did in the late 19th century, or even earlier, like before the Revolutionary War, proceeded to intone a few poems from her most recent collections, which a few people have heard of, although most yet haven’t, especially those unfortunate enough to be living in rural areas. PoMarkets rose on the expectation that farmers and small-town folk from around the country will soon be preparing applications for community-arts grants, eager to have Tracy K. Smith come and teach them poetry at the local greasy spoon, VFW tavern, or monthly 4H meeting.

“I don’t care if Tracy K. Smith never before set foot in the Oklahoma panhandle, and never would have, had she not been appointed Poet Laureate” said Dick Trickle (no relation to the legendary stock car driver), owner of Dick’s Motors, in Guymon, OK, population 11,000. “All persons, and especially poets, regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, sex type, or religion are welcome to come here anytime, anyhow. And as Mayor of our town for forty-nine years, now, I will be there to introduce her, at the celebration, which will be held in Dick’s Motors, where refreshments will be provided. I expect there will be a crowd of three or four thousand, from all the scuttlebutt and phone calls.

Now, to be clear, I have asked the Honorable Ms. Smith to not read any poems concerning the relation of the races, which is understandable in these times and climes, when people are trigger happy, so to speak. I have not heard back yet, but I’m sure that as a representative of the U.S. government and of the Trump Administration, in particular, that she will respect that desire. I want to make clear that all races are welcomed to this poetry reading, even those with turbans or those black dresses covering everything. We are an open and tolerant community, here in Guymon.”

When contacted about her appearance in Guymon, her first rural experience, and about how she felt being the first appointed Poet Laureate under Donald J. Trump, Smith’s iPhone went immediately to voice mail, and did so at least a dozen times, over the next two days.

In other PoBiz news, analysts fear market jitters in the coming quarter may unnerve rookie Po Investors with fresh MFAs, following reports that Ian Lightman has initiated a formal investigation of Po-poaching by an award-winning, internationally famous U.S. experimental writer. Lightman, who recently exposed former Canadian Poet Laureate, Pierre DesRuisseaux, for plagiarizing Maya Angelou, Tupac Shakur, the band Queen, Britney Spears, and others, has found poem plagiarism to be far more widespread than previously thought. One market analyst, speaking off the record, suggested that demand for prizes has outstripped supply, driving many MFA grads to steal poems better than their own in order to compete for Prize Prestige, assuming that no one reads poetry anyway, so who will notice? Agri Po markets anticipating an infusion of cultural capital from Poet Laureate Smith, remained unfazed.

Shares in Poetix Ltd. were unchanged, while PoFo Inc.’s market value continues to climb as it acquires more poets for its collection.

– Dispatches