>The Other September 11th.

>I caught this poem in a film clip at the end of Patrizio Guzman’s documentary “Salvador Allende”, read aloud by its author, Gonzalo Millán. I couldn’t find an English translation of it online, so you’ll just have to accept mine. As this poem deals with another September 11 anniversary, it would be interesting to me if someone wrote about 9/11 like this.

The City

The river flows against the current.
The water cascades upwards.
People begin to move in reverse.
The horses run backwards. The soldiers unmarch the parade.
The bullets leave the flesh.
The bullets enter the gun barrels.
The officers put their pistols in their sheaths.
The electricity flows back into the cable.
The electricity flows back into the plug.
The tortured stop writhing.
The tortured close their mouths.
The concentration camps empty.
The disappeared reappear.
The dead leave their graves.
The airplanes fly backwards.
The missiles rise into the airplanes.
Allende fires.
The flames go out.
He takes off his helmet.
The Moneda is rebuilt like new.
His skull reassembles itself.
He walks back out onto the balcony.
Allende backs up to Tomás Moro.
The arrested leave the stadium, backs first.
September 11th.
Airplanes return with refugees.
Chile is a democratic country.
The armed forces respect the constitution.
The soldiers return to their barracks.
Neruda is reborn.
He returns to Negra Island in an ambulance.
His prostate hurts, He writes.
Victor Jara plays guitar. He sings.
The speeches go back into the speakers’ mouths.
The tyrant embraces Prat.
He disappears. Prat returns to life.
The suspended parts are put back into the treaty.
The workers march by, singing.
We shall overcome!

2 thoughts on “>The Other September 11th.

  1. >Have you read "Time's Arrow" by Martin Amis? He used the same idea — time running backward, so that Nazis are seen healing Jews, liberating them from concentration camps and taking them home. Thank you for the poem. It would be nice if we could just rewind the past and forget 9/11 happened. The Amish may have the right idea (plow the site, plant grass, and move on).-Carlisle


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