This is perfect post-Christmas reading, a great antidote to the current No 1 topic: The collapse of capitalism as we knew it because people are afraid to spend money on things they don't need.
Robert Fitterman: Metropolis XXX: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edge Books, 2004)
Here are Fitterman’s own notes on the project:
Metropolis XXX: The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire takes 15 basic categories of the Roman Empire, discovered through both Gibbon and elementary school textbooks, and updates them to our own American condition. For example, Roman baths become rubber ducks, Roman philosophy becomes “thinking outside the box,” Roman transportation becomes bubble wrap, etc. For each of these new categories, I would then surf those related websites and plunder the language of those sites. The 2nd half of the book (the decline) takes the same 15 categories, reverses them, and then emphasizes the shopping aspect of the same item.—Robert Fitterman from this page.
I attended a reading by Robert Fitterman in London during the summer and was impressed. His poems could be classed as conceptual poetry/found poetry but the whole is greater than such labels might suggest. His rubber duck poem is a highlight. Yes a rubber duck poem. Two actually, one in part one and another in part two. Go on try writing one yourself.
He teaches in New York University. Find him on Rate my Professor here. Mixed ratings.