For those who haven’t noticed, Dispatches would like to make it clear that we are deeply, you could even say obsessively, opposed to Empire. It doesn’t matter what kind of Empire it is, we don’t like it – we don’t like the nation state variety, we don’t like the corporate variety, and heaven knows we don’t like the poetic variety. They all suck as far as we are concerned. Empires are the sign of death, the absorption of difference and multiplicity into a disciplined Unity (e pluribus unum) that is the enemy of the imagination.

As it turns out, there has never been a moment of recorded human history without at least one Empire, if not a half dozen, stomping around taking over things. The Akkadians, the Egyptians, and the Babylonians all set a bad example right at the outset of so-called Civilization, running around imperialistically roughing up their neighbours. Most Empires we have never even heard of unless we are students of such history: the Achaemenid Empire, the Sasanian Empire, the Maurya Empire, the Umayyad Caliphate, the Rashidun Empire. Ozymandias, indeed: “Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! / Nothing beside remains. Round the decay / Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare / The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Corporate empires are a more recent development of the Imperial impulse. And even more recent are poetic empires, like the one in Philly operating under the Imperial aegis of Donald T. Regan, the former Imperial Warrior for the United States under the leadership of Ronald Reagan. It’s true that poetic empires are pretty peaked by comparison. If statist empires are concerned with world domination through military, political and economic control, and corporate empires are concerned with maximizing billions of dollars of profits by ruthlessly devouring their competition, poetic empires are ego driven bailiwicks concerned with immortalizing a few names, consolidating a little bit of social capital, and influencing the distribution of whatever meager art booty they can. Not much of a threat to world peace. Still, empire is an empire is an empire, to misquote a famous Pétainiste writer beloved of the folks at the GPPW&MC. And you can tell one by the drone that issues from it.

Dispatches hates drones – and droning. We are committed to keeping the poetry and the discourse around it fresh and unconsolidated. For that reason we are announcing the end of Dispatches. It may be a good thing right now (although we understand there are those who for some incomprehensible reason argue with that proposition), but like all good things – etc. – well, you know the rest.

So, we have decided that rather than wait till it’s too late and we petrify, we will carry on for a total of ten “issues”/major uploads and then end it. Why ten? Why not? Having already accomplished three, there are seven to go. We have also decided to move to a quarterly upload schedule (with mini-updates, bulletins, and dispatches in between) beginning with the September 1 upload. That means that Dispatches will cease its work in March 2018 – assuming the editors live that long (and at this point in our lives, who knows?). So now’s the time to throw caution to the winds and join the anti-imperialist movement at Dispatches from the Poetry Wars. We long to hear from you. Let’s make a lot of noise while we can.

And then make more somewhere else.