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 V.20 No.36 | September 8 - 14, 2011 

Culture Shock

Ten Years Later

The Alibi requested poems, written from any angle, for the 10 th anniversary of 9/11. This is a cross-section of the offerings.

“City Blues”

Into the great blue lonely

Cold morning, the sun hidden

But for a moue’ on the clouds

In the gutter, a cigarette

Rides along, buoyed by

A crushed lipstick print.

The attempted lift, a weight

Of sorrow, of exhaustion

Through the cold, the sun

Attempts to rise

Above the mountain

To light the concrete

Dry the morning sidewalks

Call the street sweeper

To prepare the day for

Civilized souls and business

All the comings and goings

Of wingtips and high heels

And elevator rides up to nowhere.

(Georgia Santa-Maria)

[Untitled]

no plane hole in sight

points to duh an inside job

fuck the government

those who knew now dead

detonation so precise

witnesses flew free

ah sweet victimhood

innocence in red white blue

your Spring blood bouquet

what makes us believe

our truths too hard to conceive

lies fall down in dust

the bad guys got us

how to get them back?

truths buried at sea

Of course you know where

Clinton said of Osama

oh she caught the shit

war toys for boys yeah

don’t tell me war’s passé

it’s hard cash, hon bun

drone bombs, time bombs, jobs

un be fuck ing leave able

still kill kill killing

educate yourself

check the timeline

detonation bombs

too hard to believe?

Bush would kill us for profit?

Bush and co. love war

Bush Rove Wolfowitz

The Hague indicts for war crimes

Rumsfeld Cheney too

(Merimee Moffitt)

“5/16/02... 8 months later”

i served during peacetime

never had to take the point

on a real patrol

but now i know what it's like

to see every crack in the

sidewalk

to study strangers approaching me

from afar and gauge how close

is close enough

i hear barking dogs from 3 blocks away

and ask why

in public places i sit facing the door

anticipate the look that says

"i-don't-have-anything-to-lose"

the icy gaze raising up to God

just before the unleashing of hell

on earth

at night i dream

of silver pterodactyls

blinded by the sun

circling for a place

to land

and angels

angels falling from the sky

with singed wings

(Richard Vargas)

“A Christmas Story” 

Avoiding truth, hiding from what’s

               eating my heart

                          9/11, a self-inflicted wound

                 for greed, 

                                   for oil, 

                                                   for nothing 

               but to 

                         grease America’s 

                                             slide into Fascism

                My country, 

                                   a figment

                                                 of my imagination.

Imagine a nation,

              imagine a nation

                            A nation of givers 

                   instead of takers

            Is it too late?

                   We will pay the cost in the blood 

                                                            of our children.

Where can it be said 

                if not in poetry

                    Holding it in so long, 

   10 years

                My son’s service, his life force

                                   misused to line 

                                            the pockets

             of the Oilygarchy.

                                           Peak oil, a myth they say,

            may be the best hope 

                     of humanity

                              Everyone’s cars 

                                              rusting in their yards

good for planters, dog houses,

               earthships

                     We’ll have to relearn how to die then

                    What will it take for us 

        to remember that 

                          we are a family

             that we are no more

                          separated than 50th cousins

                      that the DNA 

                             of life

                                     spirals in a circle

                 connecting all living things?

   It’s all coming to an end.

          We are all actively 

                     participating in bringing

                                   about our own end

Taking so many innocents with us

                  already so many 

                                   gone from memory

               Those free of self-consciousness

                                hostages to human selfishness

                 Our time so short

                              our ideas so inflated

                            “What is man

                 That Thou art mindful of him

                      and the son of man

       That Thou visitest him?

                        For thou hast

         made him

                    a little lower than

                              the angels, alleluia

               and hast crowned him with glory, glory”

         What will humanity crown itself with?

                      The first of earth’s children 

            to consciously choose 

                           the hour of their own departure

                     A glory more than questionable.

Psalm 8:4-5

(Susy Crandall) 

[Untitled]

Til then...

It’s been quite a few sunsets since

rush hour broke for the sky

Building One shed people

From her view like tears

Then the other one cried

On the morn of her death

New York smoked twin cigarettes

Down to the ground

(Hakim Bellamy)

[Untitled]

It's 9/11

Ten years have already passed

Loss and grief have not

It's been a decade

since New York's skyline was changed

and heroes were born

No more Twin Towers

Empty space is all that's left -

Constant reminder

Terror struck our hearts

As airplanes struck the Towers

Our Flag still stands tall

(Rev. Rebecca Guile Hudson)

[Untitled]

Memories of planes

Havoc softened by seasons

Of migrating cranes

(Jeanette Alderete)

 

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