Friday, April 07, 2006

Fencing the Conversation

I'll tell you what I've been thinking about lately: mud minnows, skunk cabbage, and the blogs of Iranian feminists. I've been thinking about my students, and how I can challenge them this quarter to think about the spectrum of gender. And I've been perseverating on (three) guitar chords. All of these things will probably show up in my poetry in the next couple of weeks; it is stirring me enough to show up in my writing (it is here with me now, as I work on Blood Orange Review, obviously).

Language is a slippery thing.

I have to admit: I love language and I hate it; language never completely does its job of getting at exactly everything we want it to verbalize. But, then, sometimes, despite the pitfalls, it still does wonders. The creation of Blood Orange Review means that we, as the creators, must define it. But I don't know that either Stephanie or I are quite comfortable with that yet; there is a simple reason why: any thoughtful human being with "control" of a forum for communication should be strongly aware of what needs talking about and not shy away from it.

Noam Chomsky stated in Distorted Morality that we are all hypocrites and if we don't admit we are hypocrites then we must be leveling a willful refusal to acknowledge truth. Hmm. Is it impossible to be thoughtful and a-political? Does a journal that is self-defined as "startling" fail if it is not startling in every-which-way possible? Can we maintain a happy balance of provoking and enjoyable?

What are you contemplating? What is stirring you enough to put into a poem, an essay? Offer it up: infiltrate our thoughts.

H. K. Hummel

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