I didn’t read the poem or the image in the same way that she did. The poem is full of metaphors and it looks to me to be pointing toward the Twin Towers-turned-Swastika as what might happen AFTER September 11, not what came before it.
From the last stanza of the poem:
This rises up
This: were we led all that way for
Oligarchy or Oil? There was a Tragedy, certainly,
We had trickery and truth. We have seen truth and treachery,
But had thought they were different; this Treachery was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Truth, our truth,
We patriotically ascend from the flames of our complacency, this Complacency,
But no longer free here, in the new Justification,
With a deluded people clutching their sentimentality.
Why do I grieve Phoenix?s Rise?
But from a reading of the comments left at Michele’s site, the problem people seem to be having with it is not so much the poem itself, but the perversion of the image of the former Twin Towers. These towers, although they were one of the things that immediately came to mind anytime you conjured up a vision of New York, do not define that city or the people in it, nor do they define the people who died there that day.
The Phoenix reminds me, in an odd way, of that poem on the back of Jethro Tull’s Aqualung album. I’ll quote only the relevant part; you can Google the rest:
6. And Man became the God that he had created
and with his miracles did rule over all the earth.
7. But as all these things came to pass,
the Spirit that did cause man to create his God
lived on within all men: even within Aqualung.
8. And man saw it not.
9. But for Christ’s sake, he’d better start looking.