The bus is crowded. It's the morning rush.
I'm reading Francis Fergusson on how
"drama is an art which eventuates in words,
but which in its essence is more primitive."
A fight breaks out at Ninety-Sixth and Fifth
around the choked doors--some libidinal spark,
almost unnoticed, just a touch, a gaze
gone wrong, the whispered poison of a phrase--
and two men beat each other with their fists
without a word. Backward and down the stairwell
they plunge like one convulsive animal,
each broken from the moment's smeared surfaces
into a more perfect concentration
on how the other might be best undone,
after long years, the infant wish fulfilled
to remake, with bare hands, the rude flawed world.
Watching, I feel the rise of bliss and shame,
covert, defiant, envious of such freedom,
and then compose myself to better hear,
with the remoteness of a thing apart,
that hard birth, now expelled onto the street,
the slack language of flesh receiving blows--
in which consists "the tragic sense of life"
(the phrase, says Fergusson, is Unamuno's).
TODAY IN SLATE
The World’s Politest Protesters
The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.
The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans
The Feds Have Declared War on Encryption—and the New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google
The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You
It spreads slowly.
These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative
How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.
Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.