Sixteen Poems about 9/11
The poems in Stories from the Ruins are a meditation on the site of the Towers itself, what they and the lives entwined with them represented, and what they came to represent both during and after their destruction. Comprising both elegies for the victims and stark, evocative descriptions of what we saw as it happened; the process of making sense of a senseless act; and the observed acts of search and rescue, recovery, mourning, the sixteen poems are both deeply personal and yet universal. They speak to the common experience of New Yorkers, and others who have suffered similar acts of violence.
The chapbook is a handbound hardcover edition designed and containing original color illustrations by Marcia Gilbert and photos by NYC Police Officers Sheryl Puletz and Claire Hoglund. Stories from the Ruins marks the first collaboration between Gilbert’s Another GridKid Production and Lee Kottner.
Another GridKid Production is owned and operated by Marcia Gilbert, producing graphic illustration, artist’s books, and art cards.
(Click the thumbnails for enlargements.)
From the book:
Preface: Wrack and Ruin
In the Old World
they are everywhere:
broken circles of standing stones in sheep pastures,
tumbled temples on stone mounts,
catacombs nestled beneath the sewers,
aqueducts traipsing through the back yard,
and coliseums squatting
broken-toothed in the old city center.
People live companionably with them,
as with famous neighbors
who keep to themselves, but
add a bit of local color—say,
the tracery of gutted Gothic pile,
nave open to the world,
choir filled with birds.
Nagasaki, London, Dresden—bombed,
Rarely, time alone makes ruins.
Entropy can be fended off indefinitely
but chaos, with its patterns
too vast to see clearly,
invisible and virtually unpredictable
demolishes in moments
what took years to build.
But our new wreck
will leave no ruin.
Land, more than time, is money,
in this city of islands.
Over here, we tear down
before building up again,
leaving no time for mourning,
no time for rubble
to become landscape.
Instead, we raise abstract monuments,
afraid of what the patterns of decay
or material remnants of our past
© Lee Kottner 2002
How do I get a copy?
Price: $500.00 + $20.00 shipping and handling (tax included). Click "Add to Cart" to purchase with a credit card or e-check through Paypal. For money orders, please email me.