“9/11 FOR ALLEN GINSBERG” BY CODRESCU

From the Sunday, September 8, 2002 San Francisco Chronicle:

 

9/11 for Allen Ginsberg

Andrei Codrescu

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
faces!


 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


imprecision!

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

looks!

 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
from self-cannibalism!


9/11, you were a boon to
advertisers and publicists and


flag-manufacturers, 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
Doomsday!


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


Ginsberg

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About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in Tucson, Arizona with Stephanie Smith. https://linktr.ee/jaywbabcock