"To A. Greenspan, On Your 74th Birthday"

A quiet pace to the podium
So unlike the raging bull in your reins.
Cameras focus, bulbs pop, and only you breathe.
Pulses pound, cases weighed, will it last another day?
Fickle fears fly freely from anticipated fate.

Your skin is cracked, worn, lines of economic growth.
Your face a maze, perhaps only more puzzling:
Your words. Confounding, ambiguous, golden.
Your eyes hide behind shields of glass, inscrutable.
It is your decision to which we are all beholden.
Irrationally exuberant, we hope you are able.

Still the wheezing, still the echoes, still no word.
Chapped lips crack, fevered heads await your word.
Tempo, tempo, tempo, tempo, tempo, tempo, tempo.
Will it last, will it fall, will we rise up against the wall?
"Clearly, sustained low inflation implies less uncertainty..."
Sweet relief, stocks will rise, Greenspan will be deified
All our worries, another wrinkle on your forehead.

I wrote this on Monday, March 6th, 2000, on a sunny afternoon after attending an economic summit at BC at which Greenspan was the keynote speaker. It was also his birthday. Little did I know that b/c of his comments the market would drop 100 points in an hour.

Greenspan became acquainted, in 1952, with Ayn Rand, the novelist-philosopher, through his then-wife, Joan Mitchell. Though he admired her commitment to reason, he was a 'logical positivist', and contradicted her continuous certainty, stating that reality could only be discussed in terms of probabilities. Nathaniel Branden called him "The Undertaker", and the name stuck among Rand's disciples. Rand and others admired his mind, but found his commitment to social climbing a bit too keen.

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