Sirens Ringing Dry  

(eve of the bombardment)

Lire en français

Flush these locusts

down glitter-spined toilets

heard it said


rapid fire civilization

could use a good wipe.


Wash our sins in the holy river of

forgiveness and

stop this bomb-blanket bingo 

flying-high crowd pouring hot dirty fire 

like maple syrup over the sweet cake earth.


Deep-fried, small-fry crowns of Europe

line up, joining arms

as arms flow into the sweet-wine pastures

faster than these


infidel eyes could even get wise to 

the roaring silence…


Sirens ringing dry

heart pounding

every breathe a last iridescent wind

ushering us to our seats on the ground floor of

newborn horror theater.


Dark sundown eyes

the swinging brigadiers

circling Rue Des Martyrs

…the next one.

Through curtains of ash my eyelid slowly drifts

dark rain-street eternity

silent lamp posts

sacred swinging doors 



lined up- a single file gunny sack race

to extinction


somebody’s child

braided into an

embroidered bed of ancient flames.


Sirens ringing dry

soul-poet burglars eye their

smoke house sauce

engraved tent’s burning candle.


Restless orphans of 

midnight desert storms

grenade hopping glass-blown swarms


way out west

neuroscience lab bunnies on the loose

chewing carrot uzi pie

in gardens where regal statues hide, and

here’s the wind up and the pitch…


Missionary fucks dishing out pre-Masters & Johnson

Jesus bobble-head beat-a-ducks to Bedouins, 

turncoat pineapples, candy apple wind chimes.

Barker yells step right up

chaos making babies

fast as thorny-horn teenage queens

keepin their duty to the wail of ancient screams.


Humanity pass the pipe

we’re all dark moustached piñata bugs

crawling in each other’s backyards 


smoking caterpillar dances the watusi

in orange-lit gardens

throwing hail mary’s to the acid sundown sky.


Liberté, égalité, seniority

creeping wall shadows

paint the grenades with donkey flowers

watching Dick Cheney pork in the after hours, daisies drooping
from a rifle’s sultry mouth.


Let’s go-

blow smoke on this changing world

sing and dance


hang a red rose on the

everlasting Jack Frost blasting yuletide tree

embrace echoes of sweet blue Allah

illuminate the broken hall infirmaries, 

spin that smiling dreidel

on the stone heads of Jerusalem

atop gold-plated headstones, lamplit walkways

where a siren cries from her dark nowhere sea


let’s flee the fate of Frankenstein

before we drift my pretties 

before we drift…

" On the evening of November 13, 2015, I was home in my apartment in Paris, when a barrage of helicopters and the wail of ambulances began filling our air and streets. It was clear this was not the usual Saturday night police round-up fare.
As an American expat, I had become quite anaesthetised to the loud ringing of sirens, as in my native US city, murders were a enough of common occurrence. So, while I was curious about what was taking place, I initially didn’t make too much of it.

The events of that night created a shift in the paradigm of daily living and the consciousness of Parisian’s. In some respects it felt like the last nail in the coffin of whatever innocence lurked in the shadows and pink lights of the gilded city.
As the horrific details came pouring in, my family and I sat stunned and initially in a state of disbelief. In the hours and days that followed, the disbelief gave way to the horror and pain that collectively engulfed the city.

In the wake of that horrific moment, I was moved to write this poem: “Siren’s Ringing Dry.” Michael D. Amitin

Poem Michael D. Amitin,
Photograph Julie Peiffer