From the Sunday, September 8, 2002 San Francisco Chronicle:
9/11 for Allen Ginsberg
9/11, I can barely remember
you, they’ve buried you in so much hype!
9/11, I wept when you were
first on television! I wept for New York, for
the dead, for all of us,
for myself, for the world!
9/11, I was sure that the
world had changed forever because bad guys
wanted America dead &
hated us because we listen to rock ‘n’ roll and wear
no miniskirts on our naked
9/11, I cheered when
our warplanes ripped through the skies of Afghanistan
scorching the caves where
our enemies burrowed & I marvelled at our
precision- guided bombs
trying to ignore their occasionally murderous
9/11, I sat mesmerized in
front of CNN as the gargoyled faces of the Cold
War began crawling out of
the musty cellars of history and, eyes
unaccustomed to light blinking,
began to spout the doctrines of Total War!
9/11, I started to feel
sorry for you when retired generals, admirals,
spies, loonies and fakes
brushed off their swords and rushed to your
defense! So many double-chins!
So many watering eyes! So many dentured
grins and brush haircuts!
So many double-bottom suitcases clutched in so
many pimp-ringed hands!
They even brought Ollie North from felonious
disgrace to stand up for
you with his Constitution-overthrowing boyish old
9/11, I felt bad for
you when the Lefties crowded you from the other side
with their guilt-filled
jaws of “I told you so,” and their eternal excuses
for the wretched exotics
of the world whose suffering they experience in
their marble-topped kitchens
between arguments about what wine to serve
with the wild rice! And
I wept for you again when soured professors who
missed the collapse of commie
fascism in 1989 descended on you like rabid
wolverines led by Noam Chomsky
whose teethmarks are all over the zero
ground of American academia!
9/11, you saved the paranoids
9/11, you were a boon to
advertisers and publicists and
they sold you with cars and pizzas and they
drained you of your raw
primal power even as they pretended to grieve for
you! Zero down payment until
9/11, you were a godsend
to poetasters who were out of the gate lamenting
and whining before your
towers even gave out!
9/11, your dead and
your heroes are covered by thick layers of ash &
greed & the Republic
owes you an apology.
9/11, I close my eyes
and recall you in all your gory glory & I still
hate those who did this
to us and to our greatest city.
9/11, I can barely
remember you & I’m sorry.
Andrei Codrescu is a New
Orleans-based poet who still remembers Allen