The Double Dream of Falling
for those souls who perished on 9/11)
by Sam Hamod

And so we slept,
Always an ocean or two
Away from danger, bombs in
Dublin, Belfast, London and Tokyo
Just parts of the evening news, comfortable with 
Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings, everything
That is
Until 911

Wake up
Wake up
Wake up America,

Guess what
Guess what
Guess what America,

You’re part
Of the news -- now
You are the
News, that obsessive broadcast,
That obsessive videotape

Repeated until

Numbness set in, falling 
Asleep between twin 
Falling, falling between
Twin arms, falling into gray mist
Falling into gray sleep
Falling into twin
Towers falling, just
Evaporating, mist
Must be another advertising
Stunt, must be another
Artistic act, must be
Another Orson Wells WAR OF THE WORLDS
Except this time, for television,
Waiting for the commercial break
That never came, that
Never comes, but this show just
Keeps going on, the same show every moment
Of every day, President Bush and Rudy Guliani 
Stepping on the souls of the perished, stepping up
Their political careers, Rudy milking every second, every
Minute, every hour he could
With cameras flashing, video recording, always in a fresh suit,

Tie, immaculate hair do, correct make-up,
Bush trumpeting his threats against
Ghosts whose lives went up
Against his war machine
Against his huge
Ego, against the innocents who
Paid Bush’s debt, but only in
Part, Bush daily adds to his 
Debt so that others will follow,
He and Guiliani became heroes
On the blood of innocent thousands
Who flew threw windows, ascended to
Heaven without wings, who coughed
And screamed, who clawed for that
Last possible gasp of life,
While the fools who
Misread, misunderstood and
Defiled the Qur’an, thinking they 
Were going to Heaven
Found themselves quick
In the initiatory 
Flames that were but
A small portion of their 
Coming Hell

But the newsmen, the young
Bouncing beat reporters, in their
Finest new dresses, sweaters, the
Somber faced anchors, each night, intoning
The same mantras, that this was a real
Tragedy, it was the first time, how
Could anyone do this, how could,
And yet the Irish in Belfast, the English at the
Picadilly Circus Station, the Japanese in Tokyo
All knew it wasn’t the first time
Nor the last, that no matter how
Much America shook, they already knew
The shaking, they already knew
Their lives had been forever 
Changed, but somehow,
In America, no one ever
What they’d lived through,
What friends they’d lost,
What lovers they’d lost, they
Were just part of the
Evening News on ABC, NBC and CBS,
They were just moments of an
Evening’s 30 minute world coverage,
Just a filler from overseas
Without smell, without smoke, without
Blood, abstractions from a 
Video, not really real, not felt
And when Guliani was voted Time’s Man of the Year,
They just sighed in Tokyo, in Belfast, in London,
They’d known it all before, but
No one in those places understood why Guliani was
Such a hero, all he’d done was step on the souls
Of the dead, used their blood for his gain
No one understood why Bush suddenly decided he
Was a warrior, never having been to war,
But here was his moment
This would give him a chance to prove
He was a man, a man he thought,
But hollow, he didn’t want to
Solve problems, but wanted to make more
War, knowing that Bush would be
Safe, but that like Belfast, war would only
Bring more death, more
Revenge, more flashing footage for the
Evening News, but little solace, little
Peace, little like the particles of 
Dust that came floating,
Floating down to earth, between
The two arms, between the
Two dreams, between the
Two towers, falling, slipping down
Inside themselves
Inside the hollow ring
That now makes up our lives

Sam Hamod was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1980; he has published 10 books of poems; he has also taught creative writing at The Writers Workshop of the U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA), Princeton, Michigan, Wisconsin and Howard; he is the former editor and publisher of Third World News (Wash, DC); he has had talk shows on Pacifica radio in D.C.  He is a frequent guest on talk shows in Wash DC, NYC and in the San Diego area discussing terrorism, the Middle East, world affairs and contemporary poetry.


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