new zealand electronic poetry centre


Mark Young

online works

The Mung economy

Very near the end of the last
of his thirteen thoroughly researched
but possibly premature books
on the collapse of the Mung economy
André Pierre de Sèche-Cheveux
includes as part of a footnote
an anecdote from a Norwegian doctor
working for the World Health Organisation
& one of the last étrangères
to leave the country
who tells how the transition
to Marxism produced such an
outpouring of books, from
The Poems of Ho Chi Minh

through to Marx’s Das Kapital,
that the export timber trade —
which although foreign owned
still brought in the majority
of the country’s overseas earnings —
was totally destroyed because
all the trees had been cut down
& pulped. A footnote which might
have appeared had there been
a fourteenth volume was that
the Mung became prosperous again
by using the cleared ground to grow
opium; &, through value-adding
& vertical expansion, oversaw
its refining & ultimate processing
into heroin & a range of
legitimate pharmaceutical alkaloids
which they moved around the world
in a fleet of converted timberships they’d
bought up cheaply at a bankruptcy sale.


© Mark Young

Last updated 14 July, 2004