Raj Arumugam

They Could Put My Face On The World Currencies - Poem by Raj Arumugam

they could you know
put my face on currencies of the world.
I mean it’s so simple an idea and ingenious
and so original, I’d think -
though you may beg to differ
or disagree most violently
depending on your humor
but still
I wonder no one or nation has thought of it
this simple act of having my visage
on the national currency

It’d lighten up things you know
and people all over the world
might have a lively conversation point
as when they see my Alfred E. Neuman image
and they’d say to one another:
Who’s this bloody idiot?
Or someone else might say:
Anybody knows this clown?
And then they’ll really have lots to talk about
as they wait for their planes to fly again
anytime after nature decides
to send smoke signals in the skies

So really
I don’t understand what these nations
of the world are waiting for,
do you?
OK, I mean they might have inhibitions
like copyright and privacy issues
(like how’d you put a living man’s
face on a national currency?
but really, if they want to put
my face up on world currencies
that are legal tender and linked to real sovereign
states recognized by the United Nations
(banana republics need not apply)
maybe this poem will resolve the issue

Look, my face could go
on the American dollar
and they could say:
Honorary Citizen
Or, OK:
Alien – not the movie, but the person
The British could
put my face on the pound
and have the words below:
Raj for King of the UK
And my own fair and beloved land down under
could put me on a hundred dollar note
with the words:
Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Yeah, my destiny in life is to provide mirth;
as long as others are happy, that’s good enough.
Or Australia
could dump British Royalty
from the five-dollar note
and put my face on it instead –
I don’t mind going cheap, you know…

And imagine what good might happen
if they decided to put my face on the Renminbi:
Hey, the Chinese yuan may just appreciate
and what luck that’d be for America –
which brings me to another reason
why the Americans should put me on their notes:
surely it’ll have a downside effect
and their currency value will go down naturally
and give them a competitive edge over the nation behind the Great Wall;
and the Indians, yes, they could ask dear old Gandhi to take a rest
and use my face instead, with the words:
return of the prodigal son
after being a swineherd…

Look, the Euro Currency could have my face
on a Michelangelo David (naked)
(and they could change Euro to Eros?)
and it’d draw a lot of attention away from
the financial woes of Greece and Italy and Spain;
and surely the United Nations could do well
to teach humanity a lesson by negative example
by minting UN money and having my face in its first issue
with words of gold clearly below my visage:
Not the way we want to go…

But look, whatever the countries
of the world may decide
they’d better decide fast
for I might just change my mind
or even change my face
(you know plastic surgery and the lot)
and quite frankly
they’ll have greater copyright issues after I’m dead
with a garrulous widow whom I’ll leave behind
and my poor desperate progeny
who are still trying to save some money for a deposit
for their first home in the lucky country…
So government leaders and Presidents
and Prime Ministers take note
you don’t need to queue
there’s no bureaucracy
and no forms to fill up
even though you are world governments
I know I’m dealing with –
just do it
but do the have the decency to send me a note….
just so I know…
and you might, if the notes are legal tender
and completely revolting to the citizenry
on seeing my visage and countenance
on their national currencies
(which wouldn’t surprise me
cos I’d just be quiet disgusted
to see their faces on my currency)
you might send me all the money
so long as they are all legal tender…

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 23, 2010

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