gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

In The Air - Poem by gershon hepner

What’s in the air is only up
before it falls down to the ground,
and those who with the devil sup
are by the laws of nature bound
to end up being dragged by him
down to the hell that’s his domain.
Although your fate may not seem grim
when dining with him, you remain
his pawn until he’s dragged you down,
and caused you to become a wreck,
which makes him laugh and play the clown
while you don’t smile but pay the check.

What falls down often floated high
till gravity caused it to crash,
If in the air you choose to fly
do not rely on God or cash,
because the devil will not let
you go as maybe your boss will
when firing you; your safety net
is gross, once you are forced to chill.

Inspired by Frank Rich’s article based on the movie “Up in the Air” (“Hollywood’s Brilliant Coda to America’s Dark Year, ” NYT, December 13,2009) :
ON Christmas Day, Hollywood will blanket America with a most unlikely holiday entertainment. That’s when “Up in the Air, ” the acclaimed new movie starring George Clooney, will spread from its big-city engagements to more than 2,000 screens. Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a corporate road warrior for a small, Omaha-based contractor hired to lay off employees for companies that prefer to outsource that unpleasant task. Ryan has fired so many people in so many cities that he is approaching a frequent-flier status unknown to all but a few Americans. How could a film with that premise be a Christmas hit in a country reeling from the highest unemployment rate in decades? By using the power of pop culture to salve national wounds that continue to fester in the real world. “Up in the Air” is not a political movie. It won’t be mistaken for either a Michael Moore or Ayn Rand polemic on capitalism. What makes it tick is Ryan’s struggle to reclaim his own humanity, a story that will not be described or spoiled here. But the film’s backdropp is just as primal — and these days perhaps more universal — than the personal drama so movingly atomized by Clooney in the foreground. Here is an America whose battered inhabitants realize that the economic deck is stacked against them, gamed by distant, powerful figures they can’t see or know. “Up in the Air” may be a glossy production sprinkled with laughter and sex, but it captures the distinctive topography of our Great Recession as vividly as a far more dour Hollywood product of 70 years ago, “The Grapes of Wrath, ” did the vastly different landscape of the Great Depression.


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, December 13, 2009

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