Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dollar Signs of Autumn

I'm still wising I was at Dodge -- so I'm going to print another poem. One of my favorite poems. Tomorrow I will look at the speeches -- I was too heartsick to watch...

The Dollar Signs of Autumn
by Thomas Sayers Ellis

from The Maverick Room (Graywolf Press/ January 2005).

Dip a finger in a dark
viscous substance
and write on the window
of our world. OIL.
--Nadine Gordimer

G-R-E-E-D did this.
Greed and fall, nature's seasonal debris

of brilliant symbolism.
I, too, have prayed for more places to hide

in the shade
between stanzas.

Metaphorically warning students
Workshops are war,
I now wish life would stop imitating life,

and that I was talented enough to resist the images
of the S inside the eleven as a hero behind bars.

O but I am not.
The media's cash register of bodies,

and the twin terrors at the center of the word dollar
have made me and my craft liar-cowards.

S for September, s for suffering, s for save us.
Damn you autumn,
flags are not flowers.

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