From Vietnam Veterans Against the War,

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Twin fates on a towering day; Thoughts on September 11th 2001 on September 12th

By Horace Coleman

I fall asleep watching the late news:
The mews of a teenage girl with 10 pairs
of low-riding jeans and the means to buy thong panties.
I wake to scenes seen around all the clocks:
fluttering, heavy, human leaves
and stacks of unbalanced blocks
that used to be floors in buildings
toppling in unseasonable falls.
And, Pentagon puzzles being spilled.

I, you, we, see packs of staggering, fleeing, and
rescuing people powdered with dust, blood and screams
intercut with four (count 'em, 4!) views of
planes plunging into the skyline.
Sure enough reality TV for survivors now.
A headline says: War has come home

Whip that National Missile Defense on those suicides
swinging knives and box cutters and making sighs.
"I can't believe it," people keep saying. Meaning,
"My mind won't accept it until the T-shirts come out."

It'll take a little while for easy and vacuous smiles
to reappear like spring flowers or frivolous weeds
and to build new towers of smugness.

Timothy McVeigh's been outdone.
Some foreign scum won the trashing championship.
But the stock market will open tomorrow
so we can get back to business as usual.
And, we're gonna get 'em 'cause
We're #1 and too good to die!!

But you can't win playing defense . . . .
Or, without knowing the real rules of
the game called Empire.

And Boy George,
with training wheels on his boots,
staggers toward more war.


Horace Coleman


A Coast Guard vessel with plenty of firepower patrols a 500-yard perimeter set up
around a large portion of Manhattan after the attacks.

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