The old archaeologist was silent
as they cleared the last of the rubble
from the Door (which was, needless to say,
of an unknown metal) and babbled.
He was silent as they opened it
or rather watched it open, tested
the impossibly fresh air, gazed
at the lights that had just come on
or had been on forever.
He strode ahead, down the Corridor,
scowling at ideograms and trying
to bounce ideas off the linguist
as the others, one by one,
fell silent. *Do you think they’re *behind
Shang script, or Sumerian?
People always think there’s something
‘behind’ what they themselves
accomplish.* And as they entered
the Chamber, his remarks became constant
and grating. *The collective imagination
is cheesy*, he said.
*At best it could be edited,
made ashamed of itself. Now, I guess,
it won’t be.* He barely
glanced at the glowing crystal sarcophagus,
and of the form within he only
noted that it was male, not whether
it was a beautiful youth or some
impossibly wise geezer. *A woman, now –
that would have been a slightly more interesting
archetype.* An assistant
agreed, with the part of her mind
not absorbed by the lid rising
as anticlimax began.
Greenspan Admits Error
*Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to
protect shareholders' equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked
A. G., October 23, 2008
The blight appeared on the farthest branch,
where it met the ceiling.
Inside an hour, leaves,
with their many greens and stunning reds
and crowns of spikes, were drooping
and had closed on no food.
By dawn, the bulbs that crested the loam
had shrunk, revealing undigested bones;
the familiar smell had changed.
The old man, neat as always, grieved
but (once a positivist) sought
to name the pathos that he felt.
A plant had tried to better itself;
to become, with his help, an *effective
predator ... As the servants
shoveled away the mess, he gazed
out at the hills and villages,
quieter now without animals
or children. Sighing,
he puttered a few years among his orchids.