In Room 603 newsboys cry, "extra, extra, read
all about it!" as the Titanic keeps sinking and the
ocean remains as cold as ever. President
Kennedy was killed last November and he never
gets older, while Lucky Lindy keeps nailing his
landings at Le Bourget. According to the Des
Moines Register, Spanish treachery is still at work
in Havana Harbor. The A-Bomb has been dropped,
and Edward abdicates around the clock for Wallis
in a command performance of love. Did ya hear,
"THE WAR IS OVER!" but not in Dayton, Tennessee
where Bryan and Darrow will slug it out forever. And
dear friends--"extra, extra"-- I regret to inform you that
President Roosevelt is dead.
Forgotten voices too echo off these walls: Emerson
with his insistent demand for truth, Faulkner, Brother
Malcolm, Lincoln, "prairie-lawyer, master of us all,"
Martin Luther King, who keeps dreaming his same dream,
Mario Savio (who?), Isaiah, still prophesying after all these
years, even Emma Goldman who manages one quick line
before facing deportation. And Eugene Debs, frozen in
speech, locked into exhortation, cannot remain silent
enough to avoid the Atlanta Penitentiary.
Tattered posters, fossils, these fingerprints of moments
past: Aquarius, Little Big Horn, Shays' Rebellion, Chicago
1937, Kent State, fragments, shards, reminders of fabulous
visions and busted hopes, the striving of ordinary folk,
like those imprisoned in a Breughel picture, to defy gravity
and make a better life.
The posters are back.
February 5, 1993