Sunday, September 11, 2005

Mess-- In Memory

My patriotism was wrung
from behind calloused eyes
for damn near twenty-one days straight.
I felt nihilistic and numbed
at times manic even,
but normal, and neither free nor brave.

The time seemed right for escape or diversion
and Beethoven was headlining the Eastman
So we reserved, donned costumes,
made a bid for Culture
made the rounds and finally arrived.

The conductor's arrival, later than ours
seemed staged, for he was in no hurry.
Nonchalantly a wave
and a flick of the wrist
and Old Glory's great anthem revived.

We stood, we sang, patriots all,
hands on hearts bursting with something like pride.
Then silence and the breath
of a collective sigh
uneasy but willing to take even a lie.

Beethoven's Fifth,
the Rumble in Romanticism
seemed soundtrack apropos in my state.
But by the time the cello's lurched into the sublime
I felt naked with only my hate.

So its cheapened
I'm cheapened
but not as much as life
in the wake of the Mess in Manahattan.
Yet I'm struck by the colors
red, white and blue
as I'm stuck
mouthing the prayers of the masses.

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