All posts tagged: 9/11

What Our Country Has Lost With Corona We’ve Lost Before

I wrote this poem in 2001, just days after 9/11, when I was 25 years old and living in Brooklyn. Reading it now, at 43, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am experiencing similar feelings of grief, anger, suspicion, confusion about what this means for our civil rights, and yes, fear of going to war once the dust settles (because let’s be honest, the U.S. cannot let ineptitude go unpunished, even when its our own). The reason I want to share this poem now is because I know that fear and turning a blind eye to injustice increased exponentially in the decade following 9/11, and I’m hoping that doesn’t happen this time around.  “A Matter of Gray” Questions have come to visit mea life led carelessly is hard to organizeprioritize, re-schedule, pencil inagain. I spent those first days looking for clues, conducting my own “investigation”unraveling global maps gone dusty to find the jagged, colored section with which to drop my rageI placed a push-pin there like people dowhen they have visited a place… or hope toas if …

The Jordache House on 140th Street

Growing up in Brooklyn, I was all about labels. I went from purchasing Sears’ Toughskins  — with the patch on each knee — to an obsession with getting a pair of Jordache. In the ‘80s, Jordache jeans were heavily advertised on TV and were a must-have by any pre-teen girl. They had that thick maroon label with a horse stitched on, placed right above the back jean pocket. I pled with my mother until she finally bought me a pair and wore them until the last stitch fell off. As I got older, my obsession switched to Guess Jeans, the triangle-logo’ed, acid-washed style, which in retrospect looked like an accident of two tones of denim placed into one dungaree. It was around this time that I met a group of girls and guys who took the Green Line bus from Rockaway, Queens to the junction in Brooklyn. They entered our school, with their mousse-abused 80’s hair, tanned skinned and big oversized glasses. In the midst of urban New York, this group stood out from the (Park) Slopies …

When Number Two is Number One: My Big Little Brother

(Photo courtesy of Erin Donovan) Never forget. This is what we’re told about September 11th. Most of us couldn’t forget if we tried. The images of twisted steel and even more twisted faces have grabbed our memories with a grip that will not ease. What we remember differs from person to person depending on how close each stood to the epicenter. My dearest friend on the East Coast, who was working in the adjacent building, keeps the memories the media cannot convey — the moans of breaking metal, the smells of a city ablaze, the breath of a stricken populace racing by. My dearest friend on the West Coast remembers only that her local coffee shop didn’t open that morning. I, protected by the tall walls of a Missouri college that fateful day, have a dimming recollection of cancelled classes and a candlelight vigil on that particular 9/11, but September 11th has always been a day of seismic change for me. Because my brother was born that day. Shaun was the second and final child …