Bloomberg’s 9/11 Speech Quotes Poem by CalArts Faculty Matthew Shenoda

Saturday marked the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on America, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg concluded his address at Ground Zero with two lines of poetry:

Ingenuity is the notion of building
On a foundation made from loss.

The lines belong to the poem “Donkey Carts and Desolation,” written by CalArts Assistant Provost for Equity & Diversity and faculty member Matthew Shenoda.

Below, we present the poem in its entirety, which can be found in Shenoda’s 2009 volume, Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone (BOA Editions).

Donkey Carts and Desolation
by Matthew Shenoda

Dilapidated clapboard shacks
piles of bricks in the sand
scratching at the surface of cohesion

Ingenuity is the notion of building
On a foundation made from loss

Out in these arid expanses
where the Red Sea meets the sand
people dream of progress
made from humility
and the laughter of others
multi-colored dross scatter across the earth
like foreign shrubbery

We converse in codes of motion
Language signaling daily headway

Advice for the long haul.

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