Saturday, April 30, 2011

At the New York Stock Exchange

The epicenter of capitalism (they say)
is as hollow as the Fabergé egg
Czar Nicholas bequeathed (in the boardroom)
before the Rothschild bankers finally offed him.
That egg, an old clock and a Venus by Warhol
are all that remain here of the traditional;
it's all media and machines now on the floor,
an automated photo-op casino show
for those who think the murders in their name
will one day pay off.

You can see yourself on flatscreen TV,
watch the corporate banners for the opening bell
be unfurled and folded like a military funeral,
joke about the royal wedding with security guards
as lonely as at an empty airport or deserted museum.
This is the "real world" greater than our own,
but it's just a TV studio, the balcony that seems so
immense is just so tiny.

Upstairs, in the offices, where the bosses used to sit
and send down pink slips while they tugged on their cigars,
by the quasi-Venetian columns gilded and blue
are Picasso's and Pollock's, the art without people
they want us to think of as the great.
But somewhere, some 20-something retiree,
an Aldrich or such, with homes in Barbados and Vermont
and more money than his legacee's can ever spend,
holds in his private collection
the real stuff, Kirchner, say, or Beckmann from the war,
to look at with the horror that only his kind know,
the culpability not to be too widely shared,
even in the galleries of the bourse.