October 13, 2006

I am unAmerican, and proud. I refuse to get angry about 9/11, and five years down the road, we are still clinging to a tragedy that was our own fault. Or was it? I don’t know for sure, and I doubt anyone can really call that one. The only thing I know is that I don’t agree with, really, any action that has come out of that fateful day.

Yes, I remember what I was doing that day. I remember sitting on my desk in my second period psychology class that morning, staring at the TV, and helping a friend calm down, because, maybe, just maybe, her family was killed. Our teacher was making frantic calls to find the father of her son, who worked in the Pentagon.

The death toll in the “war” has now exceeded the number of people killed during 9/11 itself. And that’s just on our side. Nothing to say of all the innocent people that have died at our hands.

Mostly, 9/11 was a media ploy, and still is. I’m not saying it staged, I’m saying it was overblown, and we’ve never been given a chance to move on. This “war” is not retaliation for what happened on our soil. It is not to secure our freedoms. It is not to prevent our women from having to wear burkas. It IS the way America, or rather Captain America, has chosen to assert his authority over the world. During this whole thing, Bush has more or less told the UN, that he was in charge, and if you don’t do what America wants, you can go to hell.

Very brave, and very smart. When they call it “Leader of the Free World” they aren’t kidding. The American President holds more clout in every arena than any other political official. Even with the test of time, the American President can reverse the work of peacemakers and martyrs. All it takes is a shifting of the wieght in the political system.

Let’s talk about parties for a second. The Right and Left. Two feet on the same terrifying giant that plagues our nation. Not some curious Gulliver, looking for new worlds. This is more the giant of Jack and the Beanstalk lore, hording gold, geese, and beauty under tight regulation that will kill us if we piss him off. Even a giant slayer does nothing more than usurp the throne of a one-time tyrannt. It’s very Lenin: a party struggle, a coup, an overthrow, and a new king is in place.

Add to this the Machiavellian way we have waged war on a culture that “threatens” our well-being, which is a lie. If Niccolo and Vladamir were alive today, they would be lovers.

I leave you with lyrics from “Self-Evident,” by Ani Difranco. This song came out a short couple months after 9/11, and its all about that event. Move over Michael Moore, you fat fuck. Get the hell out, Cindy Sheehan. This lady has something to say, and you better let her say it, or she’ll put a boot in your face.
us people are just poems
we’re 90% metaphor
with a leanness of meaning
approaching hyper-distillation
and once upon a time
we were moonshine
rushing down the throat of a giraffe
yes, rushing down the long hallway
despite what the p.a. announcement says
yes, rushing down the long stairs
with the whiskey of eternity
fermented and distilled
to eighteen minutes
burning down our throats
down the hall
down the stairs
in a building so tall
that it will always be there
yes, it’s part of a pair
there on the bow of noah’s ark
the most prestigious couple
just kickin back parked
against a perfectly blue sky
on a morning beatific
in its indian summer breeze
on the day that america
fell to its knees
after strutting around for a century
without saying thank you
or please

and the shock was subsonic
and the smoke was deafening
between the setup and the punch line
cuz we were all on time for work that day
we all boarded that plane for to fly
and then while the fires were raging
we all climbed up on the windowsill
and then we all held hands
and jumped into the sky
and every borough looked up when it heard the first blast
and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed
and the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar
looked more like war than anything i’ve seen so far
so far
so far

so fierce and ingenious
a poetic specter so far gone
that every jackass newscaster was struck
dumb and stumbling
over ‘oh my god’ and ‘this is unbelievable’ and on and on
and i’ll tell you what, while we’re at it
you can keep the pentagon
keep the propaganda
keep each and every tv
that’s been trying to convince me
to participate
in some prep school punk’s plan to perpetuate retribution
perpetuate retribution
even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution
is still hanging in the air
and there’s ash on our shoes
and there’s ash in our hair
and there’s a fine silt on every mantle
from hell’s kitchen to brooklyn
and the streets are full of stories
sudden twists and near misses
and soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters
with tales of narrowly averted disasters
and the whiskey is flowin
like never before
as all over the country
folks just shake their heads
and pour

so here’s a toast to all the folks who live in palestine
el salvador
here’s a toast to the folks living on the pine ridge reservation
under the stone cold gaze of mt. rushmore
here’s a toast to all those nurses and doctors
who daily provide women with a choice
who stand down a threat the size of oklahoma city
just to listen to a young woman’s voice
here’s a toast to all the folks on death row right now
awaiting the executioner’s guillotine
who are shackled there with dread
and can only escape into their heads
to find peace in the form of a dream

cuz take away our playstations
and we are a third world nation
under the thumb of some blue blood royal son
who stole the oval office and that phony election
i mean
it don’t take a weatherman
to look around and see the weather
jeb said he’d deliver florida, folks
and boy did he ever
and we hold these truths to be self evident:
#1 george w. bush is not president
#2 america is not a true democracy
#3 the media is not fooling me
cuz i am a poem heeding hyper-distillation
i’ve got no room for a lie so verbose
i’m looking out over my whole human family
and i’m raising my glass in a toast
here’s to our last drink of fossil fuels
let us vow to get off of this sauce
shoo away the swarms of commuter planes
and find that train ticket we lost
cuz once upon a time the line followed the river
and peeked into all the backyards
and the laundry was waving
the graffiti was teasing us
from brick walls and bridges
we were rolling over ridges
through valleys
under stars
i dream of touring like duke ellington
in my own railroad car
i dream of waiting on the tall blonde wooden benches
in a grand station aglow with grace
and then standing out on the platform
and feeling the air on my face
give back the night its distant whistle
give the darkness back its soul
give the big oil companies the finger finally
and relearn how to rock-n-roll

yes, the lessons are all around us
and a change is waiting there
so it’s time to pick through the rubble, clean the streets
and clear the air
get our government to pull its big dick out of the sand
of someone else’s desert
put it back in its pants
and quit the hypocritical chants of
freedom forever
cuz when one lone phone rang
in two thousand and one
at ten after nine
on nine one one
which is the number we all called
when that lone phone rang right off the wall
right off our desk and down the long hall
down the long stairs
in a building so tall
that the whole world turned
just to watch it fall

and while we’re at it
remember the first time around?
the bomb?
the ryder truck?
the parking garage?
the princess that didn’t even feel the pea?
remember joking around in our apartment on avenue D?
can you imagine how many paper coffee cups
would have to change their design
following a fantastical reversal of the new york skyline?!
it was a joke, of course
it was a joke
at the time
and that was just a few years ago
so let the record show
that the FBI was all over that case
that the plot was obvious and in everybody’s face
and scoping that scene
the CIA
or is it KGB?
committing countless crimes against humanity
with this kind of eventuality
as its excuse
for abuse after expensive abuse
and it didn’t have a clue

look, another window to see through
way up here
on the 104th floor
another key
another door
10% literal
90% metaphor
3000 some poems disguised as people
on an almost too perfect day
should be more than pawns
in some asshole’s passion play
so now it’s your job
and it’s my job
to make it that way
to make sure they didn’t die in vain
baby listen
hear the train?


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