There are people who do not see a broken playground swing as a symbol of ruined childhood
and there are people who don’t interpret the behavior of a fly in a motel room as a mocking representation of their thought process.
There are people who don’t walk past an empty swimming pool and think about past pleasures unrecoverable
and then stand there blocking the sidewalk for other pedestrians. I have read about a town somewhere in California where human beings
do not send their sinuous feeder roots deep into the potting soil of others’ emotional lives
as if they were greedy six-year-olds sucking the last half-inch of milkshake up through a noisy straw;
and other persons in the Midwest who can kiss without debating the imperialist baggage of heterosexuality.
Do you see that creamy, lemon-yellow moon? There are some people, unlike me and you,
who do not yearn after fame or love or quantities of money as unattainable as that moon; thus, they do not later have to waste more time defaming the object of their former ardor.
Or consequently run and crucify themselves in some solitary midnight Starbucks Golgotha.
I have news for you— there are people who get up in the morning and cross a room
and open a window to let the sweet breeze in and let it touch them all over their faces and bodies.
Bill Moyers: I did a documentary about the South Bronx called The Fire Next Door and what I learned very early is that the drug trade is an inverted form of capitalism.
David Simon: Absolutely. In some ways it’s the most destructive form of welfare that we’ve established, the illegal drug trade in these neighborhoods. It’s basically like opening up a Bethlehem Steel in the middle of the South Bronx or in West Baltimore and saying, “You guys are all steelworkers.” Just say no? That’s our answer to that? And by the way, if it was chewing up white folk, it wouldn’t have gone on for as long as it did.
You asked me what is the good of reading the Gospels in Greek.
I answer that it is proper that we move our finger
Along letters more enduring than those carved in stone,
And that, slowly pronouncing each syllable,
We discover the true dignity of speech.
Compelled to be attentive we shall think of that epoch
No more distant than yesterday, though the heads of caesars
On coins are different today. Yet it is still the same eon.
Fear and desire are the same, oil and wine
And bread mean the same. So does the fickleness of the throng
Avid for miracles as in the past. Even mores,
Wedding festivities, drugs, laments for the dead
Only seem to differ. Then, too, for example,
There were plenty of persons whom the text calls
Daimonizomenoi, that is, the demonized
Or if you prefer, the bedeviled (as for “the possessed”
It’s no more than the whim of a dictionary).
Convulsions, foam at the mouth, the gnashing of teeth
Were not considered signs of talent.
The demonized had no access to print and screens,
Rarely engaging in arts and literature.
But the Gospel parable remains in force:
That the spirit mastering them may enter swine,
Which, exasperated by such a sudden clash
Between two natures, theirs and the Luciferic,
Jump into water and drown (which occurs repeatedly).
And thus on every page a persistent reader
Sees twenty centuries as twenty days
In a world which one day will come to its end.