In 1974, James Baldwin’s book, If Beale Street Could Talk, was published. About a young couple who find themselves about to be parents when the young man is accused of rape and imprisoned. Baldwin was accused (by some) of sounding too bitter in the writing of “Beale Street…” I have to ask –
How do the disparaged of the times
escape bitterness – escape even its sound –
when innocence dines at a table set
with rotting images –
marinated in vinegar ?
On August 2nd in 1932 American Physicist Carl Anderson discovered the first physical evidence of anti-matter. My heart stutters at the idea at measuring matter – much less what doesn’t. I am transported into last week where I read a NYT piece about a lower west side condo approved for a system of double entry: The condo association provided one door for the owners of the million dollar condos above and another entry for the affordable housing of the merely middle class.
There are those who matter
And those who spend lives in the
Measured existence of anti-matter
They matter not to king, god, and bomb
Certainly not to those entering the golden
Archways living cloud-high quarters
Immeasurable in size and matter
There are those falcons loosed from
the widening gyre of definition
bullets spattered across time and distance
where class and doorways don’t matter
Yesterday I spent the morning volunteering at a local triathlon event – my job was to count the swimmers exiting the lake
Making sure the number agreed with the number of swimmers who went into the lake
I meditated on the necessity of competition in a world awash in “my (fill in the blank) is bigger, better, smarter than your _________”.
I had to remember that I was in a town, home to an ivy-league institution, where competition is a personality cornerstone of those lucky enough to be invited to study at such an institution.
But what of the corralled mass of middle-aged male humanity standing next to me – exuding more testosterone than a Balco Lab? A heady experience for a second – until I remember the time in 10th grade when
I inadvertently entered the boy’s locker room after football practice. The smell of competitive animals doesn’t change –
No matter the age.
Art is a way of confronting life. Getting to the big unruled YES in a country bordered and ruled by no
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