I couldn’t sleep the night of the 10th. Finally was out when the phone rang and I heard about the WTC. I put this poem together on the night of 9/11 out of the wreckage of other poems.
Cut Up 9/11
I grew up in the hum-whee-hum of low flying aircraft, their mission in 1951 to blow Manhattan to smithereens, off the map.
It’s just a city darling. Great New Yorkers shack up, include, identify, embrace me. The liberty bells are ringing.
And that’s when it happened . The fucking enemy shows up. All these people show up hating America. The smug guns. Their muzzles are at the door. As if anything could take it away.
All at once the glittering skyline of Manhattan vanished. How strange to be gone in a minute. Now it is beginning and everyone saw it: The light that falls and is numerous. Where does the evil of the year go when September takes New York and turns it into ozone stalagmites, deposits of light?
The television is just on. I am just on.
Disastrous world—out of control. This new realism is planted on the surface of eyes that is to become our future time.
A great plane flew across the sun, and the girls ran across the ground. They tread the air, and fall not where they rose. The sky is a hoax. Beautiful New York sky harder so much than soft walls you see here.
Raving maniacs are destroying the planet. He will seize space by his Arab-tap of shoulder. He is the Evictor. Their Garden of Delights is a terminal sewer—Their Immortality Cosmic Consciousness and Love is grade-B shit—throw back their ersatz immortality!
What characterizes every psychopath and part psychopath is that they are trying to create a new nervous system for themselves. In love there is concealed a tremendous amount of egotism, vanity and self-pride. Funny of evil is its self-importance. Civilization people make for fun.
Do you remember the storms, the depressions, the unbelievable Disasters? We stand together, all of us, all shards of Ra and the embers of God, to create an era of justice and sharing. We weep for the blood, we weep for the sorrow, but we will pull America from its coffin and bash it against the sun.
Yes a majestic crash is heading our way. Gravely the Statue of Liberty turned and faced the nation, finally! In the sky there is no distinction of east and west, people create the distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.
The moon is staggering in the sky. It’s one of the unfortunate things that can happen to you in the modern world.
When you sit at home in a chair and think about God in heaven you are probably thinking about something else. I can’t bow down but to baby.
(lines taken from Ashberry Berkson Berrigan Brownstein Buddha Burroughs Cohen Denby Dorn Gallup Ginsberg Koch Mailer Malanga O’Hara Ouspensky Padgett Sanders Schuyler Waldman Yeats in a void of words the night of September 11, 2001)