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Sonnet for September 11

September 11, 2008

Sonnet for September 11

thursday i listen to radiohead
in a new purple polka dot sundress
& i am trying to feel so modern
i search for more warmth for this sunny day
in my air conditioned office & heart
i want to wear my purple rain jacket
i want to ward off rain & fear & dark
i want to keep off terror & attack
i want to make tears & fog slip away
i want to live in a world where i can
wear my old purple rain jacket over
my new purple polka dot summer dress
& with this keep all the bad news away
& with this to find this big world okay

dated Thursday, Sept. 13, 2001
published in ArtLife Limited Editions October 2001

In order to make the ArtLife deadline of Septmeber 15, I did the following to construct 200 copies of this broadside: I copied the dress on purple paper, front and back. I shredded newspapers from Weds. Sept. 12 which covered the events of the previous day. I copied the poem 4 to a page, signed and numbered them, cut them out, burned the edges of the papers, and placed them inside ziplock bags. I then attached the ziplock bags to the paper with bandaids.

September 11 changed many lives. For me, I decided to start hosting a monthly poetry series, Spoken Word Salon, to bring to my community powerful and passionate words to connect people and build peace and understanding. I hosted over 60 shows over five years.

Here is Juliana Spahr reading her “Poem Written After September 11, 2001” (5:21): MP3 and Discussion on Poem Written After September 11, 2001 (6:09): MP3 which I found here at PennSound where you can find some other MP3s from that reading and other readings of Juliana’s.

How did the events on Sept. 11 change you?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2008 10:26 am

    I love the way you being this in an everyday detail. The repetition is very effective too.

  2. September 11, 2008 2:48 pm

    Thanks Nathan. The events were so overwhelming I wanted to just be able to protect myself and hide! I know that was true for others as well. I like how Juliana’s piece provides a contrast–it is such a huge perspective.


  1. Sonnet for September 11, 2001 « art predator
  2. Sonnet for September 11: written 9/13/01 « art predator
  3. Purple Polka Dot Sonnet for Sept. 11 « Blog Archive « Compassionate Rebel

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