The metal policemen bombed my building

a million flags immediately went up

school kids were forced to sing patriotic songs

all night long


my impression of stars and stripes

immediately world wide on the internet

The president declared holy war against the Taliban

school kids were forced to read patriotic declarations

all day long


A billion pounds of rubble recycled

tourists took pieces home just like the Berlin wall

various prices stamped and sold in curio shops

my impression of steel and concrete sacrifices

all over print and broadcast images

mad editorials spoken on world wide radio

school kids were forced to hold banners up

all year long




The marmalade cat lurking around my living room sofa

never complains of back pain, morning sickness

or other human maladies like that,

mostly because it is a cat

and occasionally if it eats too much

becomes a stuffed replica sleeping on a mat

who leaves a temporary stain that glows in the dark

and occasionally forms a shadow in the light

of a glowing entertainment center television set

that’s neither very entertaining nor very centered,

scattering disturbing images around a circular room.


Sometime I find heavenly blue screens between channels

full of chaotic human movement

that usually does not make much sense.

I find peace and serenity in the static between.

I awake to find burning towers

across a thousand mile distance

surrounded by the metal rain of a zillion airplane parts

and occasional angels jumping from multistoried windows.

In my bathtub where I soak in a surrogate womb

full of sudsy gray water

trying to recreate my childhood positions

I find bits of dark ash floating on the surface

and think it may have come across half the country

in westbound wind from New York City.


I wish I could read what the ash has to say,

but all the inky characters have burned away.

To the east the characters don’t make much sense,

or so my ancestors told me

but it really doesn’t matter anymore

because most of them are dead

and buried with the wagon wheels and trains

that brought them to the middle of Turtle Island.


The marmalade cat is on my bed

reading all the thoughts escaping my head

and translating concrete images

into newsprint used to cover vacant streets

where human bodies splatter inky fluids

as they ascend to work places in the sky

where cultures never die

but media images fade away

quicker than you can say Ella Fitzgerald,

and the burial space capsule is coming down

faster than you can think Ella Fitzgerald,

and headline news lines your pretty face

speedier than you can recall Ella Fitzgerald,

and the grand illusion of policemen,

firemen, towers, funerals and smoke

clouds your vision before you can complete Ella Fitzgerald

and the marmalade cats sleeps through her songs

and everything else on the stereo

and has nothing more to say

as all the multistoried characters fade away.




For further reading of Lazaroff's poetry,
click on name:

Arlen Lazaroff



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