Write me: rjn@richardjnewman.com
from “Male Lust”

from “Male Lust”

Think of a judi­cial sys­tem that not only favors het­ero­sex­u­al­i­ty but reserves its favor for spe­cif­ic types of het­ero­sex­u­al­i­ty: not S/M—that could cost you your kids; not polyfidelity—that could cost you your kids too; not for pay—that could cost you your kids and put you in jail. Think of the African-Amer­i­can, Lati­no, and Chi­nese men who have been lynched for the mere sus­pi­cion of look­ing at a white woman. What­ev­er bio­log­i­cal ground our bod­ies pro­vide, “male lust” is clear­ly a high­ly regulated—and there­fore social—affair, shaped through a deployed and near­ly ubiq­ui­tous series of sticks and car­rots. Remov­ing these pres­sures, or adopt­ing a dif­fer­ent set, would rad­i­cal­ly change the way we think about the social/biological cat­e­gories “male” and “sex­u­al­i­ty.”

—Ker­win Kay, “Intro­duc­tion” in Male Lust: Plea­sure, Pow­er, and Trans­for­ma­tion

from A Poet’s Work, by Sam Hamill

from A Poet’s Work, by Sam Hamill

Gram­mar is no more than a log­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion for the pre­sen­ta­tion of thoughts and feel­ings. “Struc­ture,” [Wen­dell] Berry says, “is intel­li­gi­bil­i­ty.” And, “A sen­tence is both the oppor­tu­ni­ty and lim­it of thought—what we have to think with, and what have to think in. It is, more­over, a fee­lable thought, a thought that impress­es its sense not just on our under­stand­ing, but on our hear­ing, our sense of rhythm and pro­por­tion.”

 

To per­mit our schools to neglect the study of gram­mar is to deny our chil­dren the oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore the lim­its of their own thoughts and feel­ings.

 

—Sam Hamill, “Ortho­dox, Het­ero­dox, Para­dox”

from <i>Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America</i>

from Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America

In the begin­ning there was trans­la­tion. With­out it there’s no expres­sion, not even gene expres­sion, no life. Even the untrans­lat­able is func­tion­al, vital for the process. To splice one must first excise. Mem­o­ry, with its tri­dent of recall, imag­i­na­tion and trans­for­ma­tion is translation’s muse and tax­on­o­my. Mem­o­ry is some­times uncon­scious cog­ni­tion, oth­er times absence. In an inte­gra­tive age, grid and matrix rename the prongs, erect iso­mers or chasms, employ cat­a­log, entropy or the enzy­mat­ic for reproduction’s sake. Not all cre­ation is equal. We’re not all but­ter­flies. Mean­ing burns us as we burn it. Our predilec­tion is repli­ca­tion and mim­ic­ry.

 

—Fady Joudah, “In the Name of The Let­ter, The Spir­it & The Dou­ble Helix”