----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Douglas Barbour" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 12:03 PM
Subject: Re: Rev. "Nightlight" and "Greenspan Admits Error"

> All three were fine, Fred, but I truly enjoyed the way this one got to 
> its not-anti-climax. And the tone of her observational stance.
> As for 'Greenspan Admits Error,' well, that's an image growing that  will 
> stick. Ah, how noble & blind we/they were, & how could it happen  on their 
> watch?
> Doug
> On 26-Oct-08, at 4:29 PM, Frederick Pollack wrote:
>> Nightlight

Thanks, Doug. -- "Nightlight" was a challenge; I wanted to keep the B-movie 
spectacle in the background, the archaeologist's disgusted voice (with which 
I identify) almost occluded by it but not quite.  Italics helped, as did 
switching to the assistant (as you saw) at the end. -- Greenspan a 
fascinating character.  Could have been a jazz musician; studied at 
Juilliard, played for a year with Stan Getz.  To do justice to all that 
vanity, self-hatred, resentment, flattery, courtiership, and 
power-sickness - in his 40-year relationship with Ayn Rand, to start with - 
would require a novelist's talent, or a narrative scope I wasn't willing to 
attempt.  Instead I found this one Little Shop of Horrors image.  Which has 
been further compressed:

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 disbelief.

                                                            A. G.,  October 
23, 2008

The blight appeared where the farthest branch
curled at the ceiling.  Soon the 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 servants
disposed of the mess, he gazed,
sighing, upon hills and villages,
quiet without animals or children,
and puttered a few years among his orchids.