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Friday, October 25, 2002

OUT OF   Manhattan


By Bill Costley


Out of Manhattan, their faces, stunned, ashen, grey,

     that day's commuters fled its imploding twin towers

     in blank-faced terror, palled with a common thought:


"Can all this really be happening in…Manhattan?"

     bringing their mental-trauma home to Brooklyn,

     to distant Paumanok, to Connecticut's beaches,

     up the storied Hudson, to a stunned nation.


On Washington's heights, above Hudson's river, Whitman

watched their  progress, wondering: How will this end?


From his commanding height, he viewed a fleeing people,

      surveyed their past, their present, their future,

Charted the sigma & omega of their mounting terror

      speculation, irrational exuberance, delusion,

      wavering & collapsing certainties, wondering:


Will Manhattan survive such an awesome soul-shock? 

Will Manhattan demonstrate our nation’s rectification?

Will Manhattan erect a new symbol before our eyes?


At a great distance, in Dallas, a tilted-E, symbol of e-nterprise,

     spun on its axis, driven by scandalous e-xcess,

     oblivious of distant, smouldering Manhattan, e-brokers


rode bilious barrage balloons bearing e-funds, as ghosts

     of irrational e-xuberance walked Wall St.’s parapets

     & twin Trade Towers plummeted. Watch the brokers’ fall.


(18 SEP 02; 19 SEP 02 13:17; 15:40; 26 SEP 16:10; 06 OCT 11:56)