Monday, September 15, 2008

The Bones of September

The Bones of September

Two vast and trunkless legs of steel
Like silent Pharaohs over Wall Street stood
Scraping the vast canvas of immortality

How many died erecting those towers:
Welders of iron, exoskeletal beams?
Manhattan is missing her two front teeth
Can you help me find them?

What were their thoughts on that morning’s long fall?
Beat, you wings! Just another few breaths!
Millions of fingers – of Flesh, of Memory –
Sift and sift that ancient dust

Manhattan is missing her two front teeth
Help me find them!

Now, only a torn, disfigured pedestal remains
And on it these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.*

Autumn, impervious,
Mocking our imperial pretense,
Swirls her bluest skirt, whips her hips,
Casts the bones of September
Like I-Ching sticks over Baghdad
Throwing sunsets to die for.

- (c) Mitchel Cohen

Red Balloon Poetry Conspiracy, and Brooklyn Greens / Green Party

*Stanza recycled from Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias”, 1817.

This poem is reprinted from Mitchel Cohen’s “The Permanent Carnival”, 2006.

Mitchel Cohen
2652 Cropsey Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11214
(718) 449-0037

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