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Jodorowsky’s Kickstarter Will Trade “Poetic Money” for Your Crude Dollars

The filmmaker hopes to raise enough to launch his new project, Endless Poetry.

By now, everyone knows that the economy is fake and money is just cocaine-and-germ-covered cotton, so it’s no surprise that the 21st century would bring a currency based on something deeper, something universal, something that taps into what Leonard Cohen called “the evidence of life.” Forget about the gold standard, what we obviously need is a poetry-backed dollar.

As part of a Kickstarter campaign to fund his latest movie, surrealist writer and filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky is generously offering to trade such a currency— clearly more valuable than puny illuminati fiat paper—for your U.S. legal tender. The dinero poético (DP) derives its worth from “the poetry of the universe,” according to the fundraising page, and though (for now) the money “can't be spent on any material goods,” the exchange rate is pretty solid—because he is still constrained by the harsh realities of the plastic-fantastic, capitalist prison economy, Jodorowsky is now offering a one-to-one trade of poetic dollars for your cash.

The new film, Endless Poetry, will be a kind of sequel to the auteur’s magical 2013 autobiography The Dance of Reality. While the earlier movie focused on young Jodo’s life in 1930s Tocopilla, Chile, Endless Poetry takes off with his family’s later move to Santiago. According to the synopsis on the Kickstarter page, “the flourishing capital, filled with artists and poets, offers the perfect setting for him to grow out of his cage.”

Thinking he'd fit in well, Alejandro's cousin Ricardo takes the young boy to the home of Veronica and Carmen Cereceda, where puppeteers, dancers, sculptors and painters all live and create together. There, defying all of his old limitations, Alejandro takes the first step on his path to becoming a poet in the Chilean artistic epicenter of the 1940s. Alongside rising poets like Enrique Linh, Nicanor Parra, and in the arms of his first love, Stella Diaz, Alejandro's poetic destiny takes form and a new world unravels…changing his life forever.

While the project offers other rewards for donating, like posters and t-shirts, it’s clear that the only real long-term investment here is poetic currency, backed and printed by the director’s own Satori Bank. (I imagine a bank conceived by the director of El Topo and Santa Sangre as housed in the ruins of an ancient temple, where in a single locked vault, a blind priest and a psychic clown arm wrestle over the value of human souls.) The bills come in various denominations and each features a money-related poem written in Spanish by Jodorowsky himself. The total budget for Endless Poetry is $3 million, $350,000 of which the filmmaker aims to raise from fans; the campaign has already hit half its goal with a month left to go. Just don’t forget to enjoy a brief moment of melancholic revelation as you take part—as per the site: “Jodorowsky wants to fill the world with poetry. So when you pledge, please mumble a poem in your heart.”

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