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To make a point, I need to bring up 9/11.

Sometime a few months after the attack, I was online at a break at work when I saw a poem, noted as having been written on Sept. 11th. The poem was paired with a photo of the plane hitting the second tower. I got as far as the first line: "If I'd known..."

I, as they say, nope'd out. I quickly realized the poem was likely going to be bad, was likely mis-attributed (it probably hadn't really been written the day of the attack), and was almost certainly going to be treacly and maudlin. I was not in the mood. I'm still not in the mood to read it, so don't find the poem and link me to it.

What I did read, around the same time, was "110 Stories," John M. Ford's poem about the attack. Ford was a hell of a writer, poetry included (science fiction, too); he made something special out of the awfulness of that day.

It wasn't until 2017 that I wrote a 9/11-related poem. I got thinking of that poem recently. It's called "Unused Sky," and I'm proud of it. Not on John M. Ford's level, of course, but I did what I could.

I'm not yet writing any poems about the pandemic. I'm not ready. At all. I haven't figured out what I could say to explain any part of this moment in poetic ways. And...I don't have to. Maybe I could later. Maybe I won't. I can instead make these entries, and write other things elsewhere, noting what is going on and my reactions in the moment, as this...moment...continues to happen.

Much better writers than me are having similar dilemmas. I get that. Others are figuring out how to write about this. I admire that.

I do have a poem in progress, but I deliberately am writing about something completely different. Then, after that, something else. Then another something else. I can always do more.


Whale fluke
Chris Walsh

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