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Friday, September 02, 2005


by Lisa Manzi

“. . after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA [Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project] dropped to a trickle. The [Army] Corps [of Engineers] 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 [New Orleans] Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.”
--Will Bunch, senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News,
in Editor and Publisher, August 30, 2005.

Last year when things were a mess,
you came down and lent a hand.

You stood next to your brother
handing out water and ice

as if you were a normal man.
Now things are even worse.

You survey the scene.
Your plane doesn't touch down.

Yes, eventually, I know,
you'll stand in the wreckage.

Megaphone in hand, lying to us.
I hear you.

Lisa Manzi writes from her home in the Batten Kill Valley of upstate New York. Her writing has been published in The Sun, Salvage Magazine, Other:______, Democratic Underground, Poetry Super Highway, and You can contact her via her web log at