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Where’s Bill?

And I thought my life was in a piss pot.
Will you marry me Bill?
I love you so and always will.
Cut the crap, idiot.
Talking to myself,
I wallow in a syzygy of self-loathing –
my inability to do things,
like fix the muffler on my car
or the hole in my roof
or save a drowning city.
Manmade malfeasance
trapped thousands of people
in Bill’s town when the water rose
suffocating my Jazzy Town, the whole world’s
Fatty Tuesday Town.
It’s hap’nin’ on the TV, death.
It’s hap’nin’ on the street, stench.
Is Bill a refugee or an evacuee
or just fucked-up?
I’m on your side, Bill,
when you are losin’.
I’d never scheme or lie, Bill,
there’s been no foolin’.
Wait! I found his picture
on the Internet,
a non-wedding event.
“Committed to a perpetually unmarried life.”
Bill’s words. We’ve never met,
but Bill and his non-wife look happy, in love.
Feeling voyeuristic,
I lurk around Bill’s party
on display to anyone with a search engine.
Tho’ uninvited I yell,
“Get all your stuff and get out!
The flood’s comin’!”
Pixel faces smile back mute.
My link to Bill sank
into a pestilential superfund swamp.
Bill must have got out before
THE LEVEES IN NEW ORLEANS BROKE.
Poor people diein’ – nothin’ new there.
Poor animals diein’ – nothin’ new there.
No way would I abandon my dog Winnie,
well, not on purpose.
Sure, Winnie runs off
every time the front door is open,
but that’s no reason to desert her.
My dumb dog doesn’t deserve to
drown in filth or die of thirst.
No one I know’d have anyone in their life,
if loyalty’s based on bein’ sharp 24-7.
Kisses and love won’t carry me.
Come on and marry me Bill!
Not even six feet of shit can silence
a song or bury a city called New Orleans.
Seriously,
where the hell is Bill?

C. S. Reeder ©2005

New Orleans Sunk

Friday – September 2, 2005

Prayer – I do it.
Money – I donate it.

The suffering goes on…
People dying at the convention center –
Patients need to be evacuated IMMEDIATELY
Bodies floating in the water: This is somebody’s mother, father, sister, brother,
grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, son, daughter –
The smell gags.
UNO campus – 3,000 people waded there
When the water rose…
Through toxic sludge from the neighboring houses
And hundreds to the Vietnamese Church –
Thousands huddle in pockets of survival all over the city
Surrounded, trapped by an Urban Cesspool.
THE LEVEES BROKE.
Mall burned to the ground –
Fires all over town,
A chained dog floats lifeless.
Kittens, caged birds, fish in tanks –
All dead.
Pictures on a screen;
Two dimensional,
Yet,
I know that house,
I know that building,
I know that town.
I lived the Andrew aftermath,
And other Hurricanes,
Earthquakes…
I know
Pictures and words cannot tell the story,
Cannot smell the filth, the horror, the fear –
The DESPAIR.
The Big Easy is wretched.
Gunfire in garages…
Families separated.
Thousands trapped in their attics and upper floors.
A woman cries on a cell phone, “My elderly mother was left at the house.”

Maybe this disaster could have been prevented by propping up the levees, maybe not. Now we’ll never know.

Can the city ever be safe?

***

This article from Salon.

< Is it inevitable that this will happen again?
Yep. You could sit down right now and say we’re going to design a new levee system, which will be stronger and more powerful. But you’re designing it based on the conditions for today. But all the conditions are changing. The climate is changing. The ocean circulation patterns are changing. The city is subsiding at about 3 feet a century, and if sea level is rising at about 3 feet a century, that’s 6 feet. You tell me what the long-term prospects are.

At the same time, the geologist in me says you just have to live with natural disasters and you can’t engineer your way out of them. Even so, we sure as hell need to take another look at how we can evacuate people in and out of New Orleans when we know a hurricane is coming. (quote of UC Geologist Jeffery Mount – “Why New Orleans is Sunk” Article – Salon.com by Katharine Mieszkowski)>

I can’t imagine how the recovery could have been much faster, given that the area devasted in the gulf region is BIGGER than England. But why couldn’t water and food have been dropped at locations around town? Also, the National Guard was where? If there was no shortage of troops because of the war in Iraq, then where were they for 5 days?

New Orleans Mayor Nagin on the radio – “No more goddamn press conferences. Get your ass down here!” Presumably to the US President whose ass did show up later in the day to ‘look’ at the deluge. The President’s PR staff missed a photo-op by not putting some water and food in his hand to offer the pitifuls more than a ‘hug.’ Really, sometimes his handlers bungle it.

Our illiterate leader, or rather current occupant of the White House, and a product of the best education money can buy, offers these words of advice, “Don’t buy gas if you don’t need it.”

I heartily agree. “Don’t buy gas. Don’t buy cars.” The irony: people in poverty don’t have cars or the means to leave town, but not because of consumer revolt. Cars cost money. Money these people don’t have, or the education to get a job to pay for one.

I still don’t know the fate of my school: UNO.

I feel guilty as I sit comfortable in my air-conditioned, dry (for now) house built in a drained swamp in Florida. I find myself morbidly glued to the TV – immobilized by events. Vaguely, I am becoming aware of a rising commitment to participate in the resurrection of University of New Orleans. THAT will be something to party about at Mardi Gras.

ODE NEW ORLEANS

OK, I never supported going to war in Iraq…NEVER. Yet even with proof that this war was totally unnecessary, people are still blind to the elephant in the room. Greed. I have a birthright to back my opinion. This birthright is planted firmly in the soil of this country called the United States of America. My ancestors of Mayflower/Puritan/Quaker extraction bred and bred and bred for thirteen generations to produce me here. I am a Patriotic American.

Of course, while grateful for my life, my country, and my resilient genepool, the facts are this: my kind overran an entire race of people that occupied this ‘America’ for a period of at least 10,000 years before my Grandpappies sailed across the Atlantic in the 17th Century to carve out their Zion in the new land of promise. I guess squatter’s rights didn’t apply to the natives they met.

My cousins are a mix of warring/peace types, but anyone with a brain knows – WAR BREEDS WAR and WAR IS BIG BUSINESS.

This is a segue to my point. I hold the ‘pass-the-buck’ Bush administration more than partially responsible for wasting my nation’s precious resources; people, funds, our elements, and for ruining whatever goodwill feelings my nation of many nations enjoyed throughout the world by invading another country for all the wrong reasons. One end result being, there is an even bigger target on my ass when I travel around the globe.

And now we face this preventable, apopolyptic flood in one of my favorite cities – New Orleans. As a graduate student at the University of New Orleans, my heart is broken for my school, and for the monumental loss of life and property. The power of raw Nature is humbling and unpredictable, but how can anyone with a conscience look at submerged New Orleans and not be ANGRY!

– Thursday, September 01, 2005
This morning, about 7:05 am Eastern time, George Bush was interviewed by Diane Sawyers on ABC’s Good Morning America.

This is what he said: “I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees.”

Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen? ‘Times-Picayune’ Had Repeatedly Raised Federal Spending Issues

By Will Bunch August 31, 2005
(Click the above link to see the entire article)

<…When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the LEVEES SURROUNDING NEW ORLEANS CONTINUED TO SUBSIDE.

Yet after 2003, the flow of FEDERAL DOLLARS TOWARD SELA DROPPED to a trickle. The CORPS never tried to hide the fact that the SPENDING PRESSURES OF THE WAR IN IRAQ, as well as homeland security — coming at the same time as FEDERAL TAX CUTS — WAS THE REASON FOR THE STRAIN. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune (Bill Walsh) from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.>

I can’t do anything about what my ancestors did or didn’t do, but I can shed light on the current tragedy. My hope is that we learn from our mistakes and move forward. Eliminating greed should be a top priority for every human. To create our heaven here on earth, we must focus on the inner light we all share… I Believe

Not preventing the flood in New Orleans, and conducting war in Iraq is a tragedy for ALL Americans – dead or alive.

Martin AP

Time

“There is still time…brother.” So says the Preacher from On The Beach, trying to save those last few souls before the radiation sends them into oblivion or heaven or hell or whatever. (Kramer/Shute)
I’m watching the last 20 minutes of the 1959 movie on Showtime while channel surfing. (Cue creepy twilight-zone music). Synchronicity – Anthony Perkins is so young, so much to live for…sigh.
I’ve been told that at the time most theatre goers had goosebumps at the sight of human-less cities.
On a lighter note, the world didn’t end today, did it?
My Dog…

…who is sprawled out next to me on the couch and dreaming a doggie-running-after-the squirrel dream, just let out a lethal fart. Time to seek an antidote or DIE!!!!!