The Slackted Poetry of Martijn Benders

if all hope is abandoned and you lay awake watching the Contenders
play tapes of some obscure rock band you’re welcome to enter
and check out this slender, delicate verse with metaphors galore
like a Roman brothel frothing incantations through the door

Benders puts his fledgling words in a titanium blender and renders
magic, genre-bending classics poured on the pages like the breath
of an inebriated unicorn, horny stallion like İskender the great
he conquers the known world with the stuff from which she is made

This man is kicking out the moneylenders like a messianic defender
No pretense, just a book of spells, hot as hell, howling like a Fender,
and he isn’t from Flanders, it’s so neat, featuring abundant night birds
you can hear between the lines singing that you can be the first

So nag your spouse for Christmas to upend your slack marriage
get carried away when you unpack Benders’ dense book in the bedroom
very rapidly you become the mender of your matrimonial gloom
your love-making blooms you be trend setter into the imaginary

Picture Oriental caravans of dark wild owls, howling
wholesome epigrams in Hesperian nights full of elves
while fickle lip ghosts approach in saucy steps
and drunk unicorns prowl at the N of hibernation

You don’t want to wait until the year is over to get this on your shelf
so treat yourself or your MILF, leave the cold rime outside
hush hush cuddle by the fireplace with this lush Dutch bundle
be the seamstresses at the seam, trundle into each other’s dreams

The Slackted Poetry of Martijn Benders was originally published on Meandering home

Review: Capitalism by Jürgen Kocka

This is the first of some short book reviews here on creativechoice. I love reading and will share my thoughts about the books that I are think are worth my readers’ while.

Cover from goodreads.orgThe short book Capitalism: A Short History begins with a concise discussion of the most important figures in the history of the concept of capitalism: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Josef Schumpeter. Kocka also mentions other thinker such as Karl Polanyi.

The book has a wider view of capitalism than Marx, who looks mainly at the mode of production and the way labor is organized. Kocka shows that the merchants of the Middle Ages already operated in a capitalistic way because they were profit oriented and seeking expansion. Apart from what is generally considered the heartland of capitalism, he sketches the development of proto-capitalism in the Arab world (where profit seeking was, unlike interest, compatible with Islam) and China (where it was politically controlled and embedded).

Kocka tells the story of the inevitable expansion of capitalism. He discusses colonialism and the plantation economy, pointing out that the mode of production of capitalism does not require free labor. The Joint Stock Companies such as the VOC and the beginning of finance capitalism is discussed. The book shows how in mining, agrarian capitalism and proto-industrialization capitalism encroaches on the domain of labor.

The expansion eventually led to managerial capitalism in which the manager is no longer the owner of the enterprise, like during the Industrial Revolution. Kocka identifies the ‘autotelic character’ of capitalism:  “the concentration on goals of profit and growth coupled with a simultaneous indifference to other goals” (p.  114). This trend had started with managerial capitalism but reached new heights in financialization.

The book concludes with some thoughtful reflections about the current state of affairs and how capitalism is always embedded in a social, cultural and political context – and its reform is a ‘permanent task’.

Review: Capitalism by Jürgen Kocka was originally published on Meandering home