Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A 9/11 Poem

Soon came the structure for remembrance,
Videos and journals, brick and steel work:
The half-naked Cell-Phone Jumper,
The Waving Woman in the afterlife-window,
Descending from different heights, sing-u-lar-ly,
Almost alone.

The Falling Man became a book; brave distillation.

There were other men and women. They held hands,
Leaping and clenching,
Their slow limbs (makeshift bungee-ropes, orange-black, failing)

Almost still.

Most of the dying was less spectacular,
Invisibly done,
Almost condemned to silence
By siren, heat, debris, pavement screaming.
All of this,
But a solidarity of the last telephoned words of that world,
For those who could still part lips:

I love you.

(Where were you when...?)
I was leaving school.

During English, my brother caught the second hit,
As it happened, that swell of extinction.

My no-bullshit grandmother,
A different evacuee, overlapping centuries,
Had telephoned my mother to say:
'You should turn on the television,
I think history is taking place.'

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Bookmarks are for Narcissists

Exhausted in text?
Shut the book, put it down, go for a walk.
When later you finger, open her,
Curiosity, gravity and chance at hand,
She will face you with the thought you were thinking you had lost,
The page you loved,
Won with your eyes.