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]] and other 9/11 Works (Part 2: ]], pages 1-5)

September 10, 2011

Note: See the Introduction post for ]] and other 9/11 Works for information on the composition of this work. This section is being written in collaboration with Gnoetry 0.2 using a selection of 9/11 poems collected from various websites as source texts.




With all of us who lost no one, we don’t see that

empty space: the earth, once and for all odds.

I got a picture of you, after all odds!

Usually, I wake up, imagine you are glistening

with my small Midwestern mind, with our small

Midwestern children, friends and mothers.

When the first one falls, I stumble blindly in

the nothing ground as nothing flowers on up.


Their lives, and now the nation: so this is the


She wanted to hit the big time again, giant bullet

smashing her way in to save them.

Rumors flew about why there was no time to

look at the end of America’s innocence.

With your flags flying high on TV, you are

always looking back.

Is all you want is to look back?


In my veins is terror. I breathe out whole

buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.

I was affected ‘personally.’

It aches to look at you. We were all there, we

were all thankful and sad and screaming and wholly

imagined. And sad a lot.

Let us weep, but not like other peoples:

Afghanis, Israelis, Pakistanis. Strangers.

I’m sorry, strangers. I always looked for you

crying far away in your own foreign hells.

And it stole in, America.


Actions taken without regret. “He kissed my

cheek and then drove away.”

A life goes.

On a bright white line across the TV, the paper,

the snare, the forehead, the feet angled in as if nothing

had really changed.

Those who were living are now dead. We who

are still here, we have to cope.

Lord, bless the families of the world before my

eyes before they do not dream anymore.


The question was so natural, so up to the


People were fighting the ground, the cameras

caught it all, the terror in all of us died.

Nothing is struggling with nothing to carry but

your life, as though a nation stood as one faith.

A man with a thud. A man flying by with a

question about the things that have all passed by.

I think I miss him flying by.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Eric Elshtain permalink
    September 10, 2011 9:44 am

    That last line is chilling–encapsulates the strange American relationship to tragedy, as more prosaically evinced in the censorship of the photos of “the jumpers.” It is always amazing to me how well all the machines here do poetry politically. This is amazing stuff. I would love to publish a chapbook of these pieces on Beard of Bees. In fact–this is an open invitation to all the Gnoets here–Beard of Bees will happily be another venue for chapbooks built of computer-generated stuffs.

  2. eRoGK7 permalink*
    September 11, 2011 1:35 pm

    Thanks, Eric E. I think part of what made me look towards Gnoetry to do the second part of the project–which was the driving force for putting together this whole thing–was how successful I have found Gnoetry to be with creating powerful political poetry. I think it allows the imagination of the poet (or end-user) to automatically approach the text he/she is writing as an external thing outside of themselves and not as just a projection or representation of what is inside of them. There is less personal attachment to get over, less personal identification with the poem, and thus less reluctance to write poetry with charged political statements.

    I’d love to complete this quickly and get you a manuscript for Beard of Bees. Many thanks for the offer. As soon as I saw the Gnoetry Daily Chapbooks idea, I had wondered if maybe this could work too as a relationship with or a route towards Beard of Bees.

    Viva la e-chapbook!

    • Eric Elshtain permalink
      September 12, 2011 10:25 am

      Interestingly, my section of the upcoming GnoetryDaily chap is all about the political possibilities of electronic poetries!

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