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

 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
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

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


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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated 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 somehow 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. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.